Relations between Germany and Turkey are under Strain
A crisis is brewing between Berlin and Ankara. Not long ago the Turkish government blocked German parliamentarians who had requested access to the NATO military base at Incilik in Turkey, where some 200 German soldiers are stationed. It was the response to the decision taken a few weeks ago by several German local authorities who cancelled public meetings involving Turkish ministers who hoped to rally support for the referendum launched by Pt Erdogan among the 3 million Turks living in Germany. This opportunity permitted the Turkish government to claim that Germany supported terrorism, in particular the Kurdish movement and even more grotesque that the German government was using "Nazi tactics". We must also recall that the recognition by the German parliament in June 2016 of the Armenian genocide committed by Ottoman forces during the First World War had already strongly irritated the Turkish government. Furthermore, the question of visas increased the tensions between Turkey and Germany. The stakes are clear: the continuation of the current policy on refugees implemented by Turkey and in return the end of visa requirements for all Turkish citizens visiting the EU. It is obvious that the relations between these 2 countries are deteriorating. However, we are not close to the breaking point. Indeed, Turkey and Germany are members of NATO. And both countries know about the importance of that military alliance, especially given the current state of world affairs. And above all, they also have very close economic ties: 10% of Turkish exports go to Germany, while Germany accounts for about 12% of Turkish imports. Obviously, the relations have been strained but both parties should avoid breaking off their diplomatic and commercial links.