Turkish foreign minister seeks to mend ties with Germany ahead of official visit

Turkish foreign minister seeks to mend ties with Germany ahead of official visit
The Turkish minister has expressed his desire for smoother relations with Berlin, as German's Foreign Ministry reveals that 'difficult issues' will be discussed during talks.
2 min read
05 January, 2018
Mevlut Cavusoglu is ready to repair relations with Germany after a rocky 2017 [Getty]
Turkey's foreign minister has expressed his wish to reset relations with Germany as he prepared to meet his German counterpart on Friday, following more than a year of spiralling tensions between the NATO allies.

Germany's Sigmar Gabriel will host Turkey's Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday in his home town of Goslar. A thorn in the side of relations between the two countries has been Turkey's jailing of several German and German-Turkish nationals, including a prominent journalist Deniz Yücel, on terror-related charges.

Berlin has also been a vocal critic of Erdogan's government since the failed coup in 2016, which was ruthlessly crushed by the Turkish leader.

Erdogan further frayed tensions with Germany after comparing its current government to the Nazis in March. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope for better ties with Germany and the EU in an interview given in December.

Cavusoglu wrote in an article for Germany's Funke newspaper group published on Friday that "both sides have an interest in a new beginning," but said that only would be possible "if we break the current crisis spiral in our relationship."

He hinted at willingness for faster legal proceedings, but also urged an end to the "standstill" in Turkey's European Union accession negotiations.

A spokeswoman for Germany's Foreign Ministry said Saturday's talks would cover "the entire breadth of German-Turkish relations."

"Naturally this will include difficult issues," ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr told reporters in Berlin, hinting at the case of Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel.

Aside from the detention of German citizens - seven of whom Adebahr said were being held for "politically motivated allegations" - Berlin's handling of Kurdish opposition groups and members of the Turkish military who have sought asylum in Germany are likely to come up in the talks.