The upcoming high-level visits and recently increased dialogue between Turkey and Germany are expected to normalize ties and pave the way for cooperation in various fields. The significant issues in the region and beyond, such as the possible offensive on Idlib, that could prompt another refugee crisis have pushed Ankara and Berlin to turn a new page in ties and focus on ways to cooperate, experts said.
Referring to the signs of normalization between the two countries, Can Baydarol, a Europe expert, stated that, "The trade wars and the recent crisis between the U.S. and Turkey have been urging the two sides to establish new alliances and turning a fresh page in ties."
It is clear that the recent positive statements from Germany over U.S. economic sanctions levied on Turkey have brought the two countries closer. Furthermore, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is set to pay official visits to Ankara and Istanbul Sept. 5-6 with the aim of normalizing ties.
During the visit, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is expected to discuss the current state of bilateral ties and regional issues, including Syria, with his German counterpart. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also expected to visit Germany in late September.
"There have been signs of thawing relations as there are significant issues requiring that," Kemal İnat, an academic from Sakarya University stated, adding that these issues also bear some risks, as well.
Ankara, Berlin need to cooperate in Idlib
Highlighting that an offensive in Idlib has the risk of causing a new wave of refugees, İnat said a new flux targeting Turkey would affect Germany, as well.
Located near the Turkish border, Idlib was designated as a de-escalation zone in May where acts of aggression are expressly forbidden as part of the ongoing Astana process. Nevertheless, for the past two months, the Idlib de-escalation zone has been the target of fierce airstrikes by Russian and Bashar Assad's forces.
Concerned about an offensive on Idlib, Ankara has been voicing its humanitarian concerns.
"Therefore, the issue necessitates cooperation between Ankara and Berlin, which have previously worked together in the refugee crisis," İnat added.
"In order to resolve the Idlib issue without causing a new wave of refugees, Turkey has been exerting efforts and keeping contact with not only Russia and Iran but also with Germany, considering the humanitarian aspect of the conflict," he underscored.
Turkey has substantially contributed to stemming the flow of refugees to Germany within the framework of the deal signed in March 2016.
Commenting on Turkey's efforts, İnat said, "The political atmosphere in Germany was softened as Ankara fulfilled its responsibilities, and German politicians won a respite regarding the refugee issue."
Aside from Idlib, İnat also stressed that other issues urging cooperation between Ankara and Berlin are mainly the Turkish diaspora in Germany, security and economy.
İnat said both Germany and Turkey face pressure from their NATO ally, the U.S., and this situation necessitates further cooperation in the field of security; yet, he also pointed out that Germany's stance toward the PKK and and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) pose a risk to cooperation in this field.He stressed that Turkey and Germany have strong economic ties and that should be reflected in the political ties, as well. İnat also added that the Turkish diaspora in Germany should be considered an instrument for cooperation.
Touching on the future of Turkey's ties with Germany and the EU, Baydarol highlighted now that the state of emergency is lifted, which was first announced following a failed coup attempt by FETÖ, and since Turkey underlined that it is ready to implement new reforms regarding its ties with the EU, a recovery in ties is expected. He added that the two sides need to focus on mutual interests rather than flaring-up disputes.
In the fourth meeting of the EU Reform Action Group (RAG) held in Ankara on Aug. 29, it was stressed that Turkey is ready to take fresh steps in implementing new reforms in all fields.
The meeting was hosted by Çavuşoğlu and attended by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül and Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak. Each minister highlighted that necessary steps will be taken to implement reforms regarding their respective ministries.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.