No: 238, 21 July 2017, Press Release Regarding The Statement Of The Foreign Minister Of The Federal Republic Of Germany, Mr. Sigmar Gabriel, On Turkey

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 20.07.2017

Germany is a friendly and an ally country with which we have historical ties. However, we are experiencing a serious confidence crisis in our relations recently.

The main reason for this crisis is Germany’s double-standard attitude towards Turkey. Germany, on the one hand, allows the members of the PKK and FETÖ terrorist organizations which target our State to move freely on its territory, on the other hand, makes unacceptable demands such as the release, without a due judiciary process, of the individuals who have been detained or arrested in Turkey on charges of terrorism.

While preventing our Ministers and Parliamentarians from coming together with Turkish citizens in Germany, the German authorities claim that their parliamentarians, who are closely affiliated with terrorist organizations, have the right to visit, whenever they wish, the military bases which are under our sovereign jurisdiction.

Minister Gabriel’s statements of today constitute the latest example of this one-sided distorted approach which is unacceptable.

It is striking that, through his statements, Minister Gabriel intends to widen the front by extending our bilateral problems to larger platforms. We consider this approach as the manifestation of Germany’s real intention.

Since we do not allow any intervention in the Turkish judiciary, Minister Gabriel uses a threatening language that includes increasing of the level of travel warning regarding Turkey, opposing to the modernization of the Customs Union, discouraging investments and reviewing the allocation of the EU accession funds for Turkey.

The modernization of the Customs Union is a proposal made by the EU that also serves its own interests. It is rather inconsistent to raise the issue of EU funds, while the EU has not yet fully fulfilled its commitments in the framework of 18 March Agreement.

As to the travel warning, its purpose seems to have been intentionally distorted. It is obvious that our German guests visiting Turkey as tourists are not categorized same with those who have accusations against them, and thus have been brought in front of justice.

We have a serious state tradition that never compromises on the independence of the judiciary and the fight against terrorism in return for temporary financial benefits such as credits, allocation of funds and the modernization of the Customs Union, and distinguishes the fight against threats towards its vital interests from material advantages.

Turkey in no way adopts a state policy which prioritizes short-sighted political interests over strategic perception. Attempts to extend Turkey-bashing efforts to various platforms for domestic political purposes will also receive necessary reaction.

We want to continue to see Germany as an ally and a friendly country. We hope that Germany will understand our rightful expectations on the fight against terrorism and the security of Turkey, and consider our common interests with a strategic vision. Our bilateral relations should be carried out on the basis of internationally accepted norms and principles, not on threats and blackmailing. The same understanding should be displayed reciprocally in the fields of human rights, fight against terrorism and security.

Tahsin Tunç Üğdül Ambassador
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