Etiket arşivi: Turkish-German relations

German-Turkish Relations: The Downturn Continues

August 21, 2017

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey titled, “Publics Worldwide Unfavorable Toward Putin, Russia”, in few countries surveyed did people exhibit confidence in Putin to do the right thing regarding world affairs (1). Globally, a median of 60% said that they lack confidence in Putin’s global leadership. Europe emerged as the region least confident in Putin, with a median of 78% expressing a lack of confidence in the Russian President. Eight-in-ten or more in Poland (89%), Spain (88%), the Netherlands (87%), Sweden (87%) and France (80%) lack trust in Putin. The figure for Germany and Turkey is 74%. Okumaya devam et

Moving Toward Unsplendid Isolation

March 27, 2017

Turkish government’s “zero problems with neighbors” policy was nothing but a public relations stunt. Its “regime change Syria” project has turned into a major foreign and security policy disaster, as predicted.

At present, Ankara’s relations with Washington are under clouds of uncertainty because of differences over Fethullah Gülen’s extradition and YPG’s role in combating ISIS. Secretary Tillerson, addressing the Ministerial Plenary for the Global Coalition Working to Defeat ISIS on March 22, said: “Turkey has pushed ISIS off the Turkey-Syria border through Operation Euphrates Shield. This entire border is now inaccessible to ISIS, and we will ensure that it stays that way…”   What that means exactly will no doubt be high on the agenda of the talks Secretary Tillerson will have in Ankara at the end of the month. Criticism directed by Ankara at the gone Obama administration continues and is probably seen as an indirect way of sending messages to its successor. Okumaya devam et

Turkey’s Confrontational Relationship with the European Union

March 20, 2017

Years ago, the political director of the ministry asked me to draft a “Turkish foreign policy” speech for the minister. I prepared a draft, he went over it and we took it to the minister who read it and was pleased. Some months later, we received a similar request from the private office. Again, I prepared a draft which was an updated version of the previous one and we took it to the minister. He read it and said “it’s fine but no different than the last one”. The political director, a good friend of the minister, laughed and said “because in foreign policy we don’t sing a different tune every day”. Okumaya devam et

Turkey’s Latest Spat with Germany

March 6, 2017

With three million Turks, Germany is home to more Turks than any other country. There are also fifteen thousand Germans who have settled in Turkey’s coastal regions. In 2015, before the fallout of the Syrian conflict dealt a crippling blow to Turkey’s tourism sector, over 5.5 million Germans visited Turkey. To put it briefly, the human bridge joining the two countries is huge. Moreover, Germany is Turkey’s leading trade partner and also the largest export market for Turkish products. Last but not least, Turkey and Germany are NATO allies and Germany remains the strongman of the European Union with a key role to play in Turkey’s accession process. This is not to say that Ankara and Berlin should agree on every problem that confronts them. However, in view of their converging broad interests, they should be able to show a capacity to contain and resolve their differences and avoid inflammatory language. Okumaya devam et