Germany-Turkey Relations Increasingly Tense In the Meeting of FMs

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu and his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel met in Berlin on 8 March. Çavuşoğlu accused Germany of hostility towards Turkey and Islam due to cancellations of several Turkish political rallies in Germany, while Berlin complained of increased Turkish espionage in Germany. 

Turkish President Recep Erdoğan had described these cancellations as “fascist actions” reminiscent of the Nazi era last week. Gabriel said these comparisons overstepped the mark. Hans-Georg Maassen, the chief of the BfV, German intelligence service, warned of “proxy fights” between supporters of PKK and right-wing Turkish nationalists in Germany before the Turkey's controversial April referendum. Berlin demanded consular access to Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yücel and for a fair judicial process. Yücel was recently arrested based on the claim that he was a "German agent" and a PKK member, which German Interior Ministry sources rejected as absurd. Bilateral relations have been tense since Germany and the EU were highly critical of purges after the failed coup attempt in the country in July 2016. The European Parliament held a non-binding vote last year to freeze the membership talks with Turkey. 

About author: Umay Atik

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