President Erdoğan has paid the first official visit after seven years. What actually happened in Germany?

Hilal Köylü

Amidst the protests, Can Dündar crisis and security measures, EU-Turkey relations, economic crisis and Syria, the issues expected to be in both countries’ agendas were forgotten.

However, German chancellor Angela Merkel had announced that a Syria summit would be held on October between Russian, Turkish and French leaders. The issue again is Idlib. The crisis is escalating and Germany is trying to figure out what Turkey is attempting to do with both the USA and Russia. Although Russia, being determined for militarily intervention to Idlib, has mitigated Turkey’s concerns regarding migration question, Germany does not seem to be content with the situation. Eventually the question, “where do all these people escape to?” is still in Mekel’s Idlib agenda.

EU CRITERIA

It would be miles long from Ankara to Berlin if we would attempt to write only the headlines on the vicissitudes of EU-Turkey relations, Germany’s support and withdrawals of support, Ankara’s efforts and hold-backs. President Erdoğan repeated in Berlin, that Ankara would fulfill all the criteria one by one for Turkey’s visa liberalization. Would Ankara stay on the roadmap? Yes, it would. Then the Result: There won’t be visa liberalization for Turkish citizens. Then why? Because, even though the criteria are fulfilled, Germany is obsessed with Turkey’s ‘normalization.’ Germany insisting “Arrested German citizens be immediately returned, arrested journalist be released,” in no way trusts Turkey. The notes stating “We don’t trust you” has already been received by Ankara.

‘JUST NAME IT’

Besides, is Germany normal? Ankara on the other hand poses this question before Germany. No, it is not. Is it “partnership on mutual interests” or “partnership for EU membership candidacy” with Turkey Germany is after? Ankara is right to cry out, “Name it, be clear!” Germany only pays lip service regarding its support for strengthening the Turkish economy. Everything is just rhetoric. All is claptrap.

Is really everything just a scene? Yes. President Erdoğan, despite the Can Dündar crisis was able to meet with chancellor Merkel and President Steinmeier in front of the press exactly as it was planned before. While Merkel and Steinmeier were asking for the abolition of the oppression against the opposition, Erdoğan complained against PKK and Fetö members freely operating in Germany and asserted, “Why do you hold a spy such as Can Dündar in high esteem?” In short, both parties disclosed freely what they have to say during Erdoğan’s visit to Berlin. Eventually, this warm contact between Ankara and Berlin will kept warmer. The parties will walk through many times on this visit and make reevaluations. The crisis and the protests will sink into oblivion.

Translation: Benan Eres