View from Turkey: Merkel tries to explain the unexplainable

Published February 3, 2017

The visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Ankara was not the bed of roses predicted. Besides frank discussions over the outstanding issues between Ankara and Berlin, she came here with an agenda to prod Ankara over the alleged human rights problems in Turkey and thus appease certain circles in Germany.

So in the process she seemed at odds with the Turkish leaders at the press conferences after her talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

But in essence, the issues discussed in the bilateral talks and behind closed doors were in fact not so stormy.

Merkel had to endure the unpleasant task of trying to explain to the Turkish leaders the German position in view of the problems that have hurt relations between the two countries.

She was reprimanded by President Erdoğan for her comments about “Islamic terrorists” and he told her that Islam and terrorism do not go together and as a Muslim the president detests such references.

It is clear that Merkel was told to make references to human rights issues to appease the enemies of Turkey in Germany including journalist Can Dündar, the PKK followers and the supporters of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) who staged the failed coup in Turkey on July 15.

She even talked about the Turkish religious officials in Germany who warned the Germans about the Gülenists and were labeled spies. She seems to have carried out her mission with some embarrassment and some reluctance.

But behind closed doors there were very frank but positive discussions. Merkel is aware she is walking on thin ice and any move to anger Ankara means the shelving of the migrant deal, which means Syrians will flood Europe.,


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