Turkey and Germany are ready to leave tensions behind in an upcoming meeting and enter a new period of close relations that would benefit both sides.
According to experts, a prosperous time is ahead for Turkish-German relations. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to travel to Berlin for a two-day visit on Sep. 28.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's office confirmed the date Tuesday. During the visit, his first to the country since 2014, Erdoğan will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss bilateral issues.
"Germany needs to come to the table merely for its own interests," said Ozan Ceyhun, a Daily Sabah columnist, while adding that Erdoğan's meeting with German officials is expected to ease relations.
Ahead of the meeting, German authorities expressed their eagerness to come together with Turkey. On Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany should welcome Turkey's elected leader.
"We would be mistaken to not welcome the representatives of that state," Maas said, adding that the danger would be much greater if the two countries did not talk to each other.
He also rejected the criticisms from the opposition that are against the meeting.
"Erdoğan is the elected president of Turkey, whether you like the Turkish presidential constitution or not," he said.
Some of the politicians from the German opposition are not convinced in terms of the necessity of the visit and insist on criticizing it heavily.
"In my opinion, all democratic politicians who want to meet Erdoğan should be reminded of the fate of imprisoned democrats in their dungeons," Former Green Party leader Cem Özdemir said, referring to the Germans who are imprisoned in Turkey, mostly on terrorism charges.
Free Democratic Party (FDP) leader Christian Lindner said that even though she finds diplomatic encounters meaningful, this meeting was questionable due to its timing since it came shortly after the presidential elections in Turkey.
According to Ozan Ceyhun, people who have obvious ties to terrorist groups and ideologies would not want Turkey and Germany to have close ties. Rather they will try to damage relations with these kinds of criticisms, he said.
"No one should take them seriously," he
The meeting is expected to put an end to the problems between the two countries and help to reconstruct and strengthen the recently strained relations by discussing the main issues that cause trouble in the ties.
"Syria, bilateral trade relations, and the extradition of the terrorists would be the main subjects in the meeting. It is inevitable for both sides to not to discuss Turkey-EU relations as well, considering the importance and power of Germany within the union," Ceyhun said.
He further added that the problems of Turks living in Germany will also be another important topic to discuss.
Germany's tolerance of PKK and Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) supporters and their activities within its borders became one of the main issues that initially strained the relations between the two countries.
Following the failed coup attempt in July 15, 2016, Turkey criticized Germany for being an alternative home for the FETÖ supporters who are responsible from the coup that killed 250 people and injured 2,200 others.
Another reason is the fact that PKK followers and sympathizers have long enjoyed the freedom to continue their activities, including fundraising and recruitment, across Germany, although it is recognized as a terrorist organization by the country.
Formed in 1978, the PKK terrorist group has fought a long separatist battle against the Turkish state. Its terror campaign has killed more than 40,000 people, including women and children. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.
According to a 2017 report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), there are 14,500 PKK sympathizers in Germany, with an increase of 500 since 2016.
"The PKK continues to be the largest terrorist group in Germany in terms of a number of members and power," the report suggests.
The report also reveals that the terrorist group collected 25 million euros in Europe, including 14 million euros in Germany. It adds that many PKK-linked organizations and foundations have changed their names in recent years to make positive impressions.
Germany also being criticized for not letti
ng the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) hold rallies in the country while letting others during the campaign period ahead for the April 16, 2017 referendum in Turkey and also ahead of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The upcoming summit in Istanbul, between Turkey, Russia, France and Germany, to discuss the regional issues, is another sign of possible normalization of ties and rapprochement between Ankara and Berlin.
mit was first announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 28 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he attended the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit. Erdoğan underlined that the four countries will take up a wide-ranging set of issues, including Syria and Iraq.
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