Turkey, Germany agree on need for dialogue to improve ties

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu vowed Saturday to try to mend ties blighted by a slew of disputes
Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (R) and Foreign Affairs Minister of Germany Gabriel Sigmar (C) arrive to answer the questions of press members at Kaiserpfalz Imperial Palace in Goslar, Germany on January 06, 2018.
Cem Özdel - Anadolu Agency
Saturday, 06 January 2018 19:30

Turkey's foreign minister said on Saturday that Ankara's differences with Berlin could be overcome through dialogue, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Speaking to reporters at a joint news conference with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel in Lower Saxony, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said: "We, as two foreign ministers, believe our disagreements will be overcome through dialogue."

"We do not need to agree on Turkey’s EU membership process but both sides need to overcome issues such as updating the Customs Union agreement," he added.

"We welcome the steps that Germany took against the PKK. Putting Adil Öksüz on the wanted list is one such step. But we have more expectations from Germany."  

Turkey accuses Öksüz of masterminding July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt in Turkey. He was arrested in Turkey on the morning of July 16, but was subsequently released and has since disappeared. 

'TURKEY, GERMANY WILL BOLSTER STRATEGIC DIALOGUE'

For his part, Gabriel said that despite differences of opinion, it is their duty to overcome all the difficulties in relations between Germany and Turkey.

"We have a serious will in this regard. Together with my colleague, we see it as a common duty to overcome this tension," Gabriel said.  

He also said he and Çavuşoğlu have agreed to advise their economy ministers to reconvene a Turkish-German economic commission. 

Gabriel said the Turkish and German Foreign Ministries favour bolstering strategic dialogue between the countries. He added that despite disagreements, both top diplomats are "concerned" about developments in Syria and Yemen.  

Gabriel also said that he had agreed with his Turkish counterpart to attend centenary celebrations of the German School in Istanbul.