Cooperation with Germany vital, FM Çavuşoğlu says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that cooperation on regional issues between Turkey and Germany is crucial.

Speaking at a joint press conference on Tuesday prior to meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Berlin, Çavuşoğlu said the two countries do not see each other as rivals.

"The close cooperation with Germany is vital in solving regional problems with Germany," he said while in Germany, which is regarded as the latest sign in thawing bilateral relations.

He also called on Gabriel to review a travel warning that was issued last year, citing heightened demand from German tourists looking to visit Turkey next summer.

Germany had issued a warning to its citizens visiting Turkey last July, telling them to take "heightened caution."

In a reciprocal move in September, the Foreign Ministry warned Turkish citizens living in or traveling Germany to be cautious. The ministry said Turkish citizens should act responsibly in cases of xenophobia, incidents of racism and verbal attacks.

Ties between Ankara and Berlin have been strained since the defeated coup in Turkey last year as Turkish politicians criticize their German counterparts for failing to show strong enough solidarity with Ankara against the attempted military takeover in 2016.

Ankara has also criticized Berlin for ignoring outlawed groups and terrorist organizations like the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which continue to operate freely in Germany.

Berlin, on the other hand, has criticized Turkey on issues of press freedom and human rights.

However, the two countries continue to cooperate in many areas. Recently, Germany approved more than 30 defense industry deals with Turkey in December and January, including the sale of bombs, torpedoes, missiles, fire control and surveillance systems, land vehicles, ships and marine equipment, aeronautical and electronic equipment and special tanks and related parts and equipment.

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