Turkey's Erdogan defends German soccer players

Minnie Murray
October 4, 2018

Trump in August said he thought he had a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to gain Brunson's release after he asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to free a Turkish citizen held for smuggling funds to Hamas.

Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016 following a defeated coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) which left 251 people martyred and almost 2,200 injured.

"However, the fluctuation in the economy, which doesn't reflect the reality in our country causes challenges to be more apparent", he added.

During his stay in Berlin, Erdogan met twice with Chancellor Angela Merkel for talks, with both leaders signalling their interest in a cautious rapprochement, but also disagreements in a wide variety of issues.

The Turkish-German relations took a hard hit following the failed military coup attempt in July 2016.

"The two parties are willing to move forward to get out of the impasse", said Ilke Yoygur, an analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid.

Excluding at this stage for a resumption of negotiations for the accession of Turkey to the EU, which have been frozen for several years, it is estimated that Turkey could expect a modernization of the customs Union which links, to the block, but not before the european Parliament elections in may 2019.

Erdogan noted that although there are now a number of problems between the United States and Turkey, Washington will finally make an important and correct choice.

Almut Moller, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the outcome was "far away from a detente" with the deterioration in Turkey's rule of law and human rights still of "great concern to Berlin".

"In this regard, we care about Germany's support to Turkey", he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has wound up a sometimes-fraught visit to Germany by condemning the treatment of soccer players of Turkish descent and urging "a joint stance against this racist drift".

But she told AFP: "Germany has no interest in losing Turkey as a partner to work with" and wanted to see Ankara overcome its economic difficulties.

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