News – Analysis By Yusuf Ertuğral
Erdoğan’s visit to Germany, although widely controversial, is of great importance for Turkish- German relations. As the first visit of Turkish President Erdoğan to Germany since 2020, this trip may have the potential to ease tensions between the two countries, but it may also trigger new conflicts.
In this analysis, we will analyse the impact of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Germany on Turkish-German relations. In particular, based on the comments in the German press before and after this visit, we will try to better interpret the relations between Turkey and Germany by clearly addressing the results and possible consequences of the visit.
In order to determine the importance of the visit and the discussions, we will try to analyse the following topics.
- Analysing Erdoğan’s geopolitical influence and its role on relations with Germany,
- Evaluating the impact of the recent German-Turkish conflicts on the visit,
- Analysing the results of the visit and its reflections in the media and finally the significance of this visit and the current state of Turkish-German relations.
Historical Ties between Turkey and Germany
Turkey and Germany have deep-rooted historical ties. The large Turkish diaspora in Germany is one of the most prominent features of this relationship. This creates an economic, social and cultural bridge between both countries.
Germany is one of the most important trade partners of Turkey. Economic co-operation between both countries is intensive. However, this cooperation has sometimes encountered difficulties due to political tensions in recent years.
Tensions in Recent Years
In recent years, Turkish-German relations have experienced some tensions. These tensions have generally centred around political issues. For example, issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have led both countries to adopt different approaches in their foreign policies.
Moreover, German criticism of Turkey’s domestic politics and human rights issues has also caused tensions. This led many German officials to criticise Erdoğan’s visit.
Nevertheless, Turkish-German relations are still of strategic importance. Both countries are interdependent and this will determine the direction of their future relations. Consequently, it is vital for both Turkey and Germany that this relationship continues to be healthy.
Background to Erdoğan’s Visit to Germany
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Germany was the first since 2020. There are many important factors behind this visit. The recent strained relations between the two countries further increases the importance of this visit.
Purpose of the Visit and Expectations
Mr Erdoğan’s visit to Germany was an opportunity to address a number of complex and sensitive issues. Turkey’s economic situation, the conflicts in the Middle East and Turkey’s relations with the European Union were among the main topics on the agenda.
Expectations from the visit were also high. Turkey needs Germany’s support to counter its economic difficulties and also to strengthen its relations with the EU. On the other hand, the visit comes at a sensitive time, with some Jewish organisations calling for the visit to be cancelled because of Erdoğan’s criticism of Israel and his defence of Hamas.
On the other hand, Germany also needs Turkey. Germany sees Turkey’s role in preventing the escalation of conflicts in the Middle East as important and urgent. Moreover, the visit is further complicated by the fact that Germany has a large Turkish diaspora and relies on Turkey to limit the flow of migrants from the Middle East.
The background of Erdoğan’s visit to Germany is full of challenges facing both countries. However, the importance of such meetings to overcome these challenges and strengthen relations cannot be overstated.
From this point onwards, our analysis will examine Erdoğan’s geopolitical influence and its role on relations with Germany. In order to better understand how this affects Turkish-German relations, we will analyse the issue in more detail.
Erdoğan’s Geopolitical Influence and its Role on Relations with Germany
Erdoğan’s geopolitical influence plays an important role in Turkish-German relations. Turkey’s geographical location and its strategic importance in the region cause Erdoğan’s leadership style and foreign policy preferences to influence relations with Germany.
Erdoğan’s Active Role in the Region
In recent years, Erdoğan has been actively involved in political developments in the Middle East and Europe. Especially during periods such as the Syrian civil war and the Ukraine crisis, Turkey’s role has increased. This has strengthened Erdogan’s geopolitical influence and allowed him to shape his relations with countries such as Germany.
Germany’s Observation of Turkey
Germany sees Erdoğan as an important partner due to Turkey’s geopolitical influence. Turkey’s support and co-operation, especially on issues such as the refugee crisis and the fight against terrorism, are of strategic importance for Germany. As a country directly involved in the conflicts in the Middle East, Turkey is seen by Germany as a key player in ensuring regional stability.
Problems and Tensions
However, Erdoğan’s leadership style and domestic policy preferences have caused some problems in relations with Germany. In particular, human rights violations, restrictions on press freedom and concerns about democratic values have led to criticism in Germany. Therefore, there are contradictory dynamics between Erdoğan’s geopolitical influence and the factors shaping relations with Germany.
Conclusion and Future
The impact of Erdoğan’s geopolitical influence on Turkish-German relations is complex. On the one hand, Turkey’s geographical location and strategic importance in the region offer opportunities for cooperation and partnership for Germany; on the other hand, domestic policy preferences and issues such as human rights violations can cause tensions in relations.
In this context, Erdoğan’s visit to Germany may open a new chapter in Turkish-German relations. However, it is unclear how this new page will be shaped and how it will reflect on the relations. It is important for both countries to establish a constructive dialogue by considering their geopolitical interests.
The Role of Disagreements in Turkish-German Relations
German-Turkish disagreements on many critical issues have increased in recent years. These disagreements played an important role in setting the tone and agenda of Erdoğan’s visit to Germany.
Hamas-Israel Conflict: Germany defended Israel’s security, while Turkey supported the Palestinians. Erdoğan’s statements describing Israel as a “terrorist state” led some Jewish organisations to call for the cancellation of the visit.
Migration Policies: Germany relies heavily on Turkey for protection from the influx of migrants. However, Erdoğan’s threat to freeze the migrant pact with the European Union has further strained relations between the two countries.
Ukraine Crisis: While Turkey’s role in the Ukraine crisis was seen as important and urgent by the Western powers, harmonisation between Berlin and Ankara in this situation proved difficult.
Human Rights and Democracy: Germany’s concerns about the human rights and democracy situation in Turkey have overshadowed Erdogan’s authoritarian rule and growing geopolitical influence.
Each disagreement has created a significant tension in Turkish-German relations. However, efforts to overcome these tensions cannot be denied. The ongoing dialogue between the two countries gives hope that these disagreements can be managed. Erdoğan’s visit to Germany
therefore demonstrated the determination of both sides to mend relations and advance common interests.
Results of Erdoğan’s Visit to Germany and the Difference in Perception between the Two Countries
Taking an overview of the consequences of Erdoğan’s visit to Germany, the impact of this visit on Turkish-German relations should be analysed in various dimensions. The impact of Erdoğan’s statements was reflected in different ways in the media of both countries.
The Impact of Erdoğan’s Statements
Erdoğan’s statements during his visit to Germany were covered in different ways by the Turkish and German media. While the Turkish government media covered the visit with a focus on the resolution of the Middle East conflicts, economic cooperation and the EU membership process, in Germany Erdoğan was criticised for his rhetoric against Israel and his defence of Hamas.
Conclusions Following the Visit
After the visit, the weakness of Turkey’s economic situation and its willingness to seek a role in resolving conflicts in the Middle East became apparent. However, with four million refugees in Turkey, Erdogan’s leverage remains significant despite the effective freezing of the EU- Turkey migration agreement.
Difference in Perception between the Two Countries
There is a significant difference in perception between Turkey and Germany regarding the meaning and significance of Erdoğan’s visit. While in Germany Erdoğan’s visit was welcomed with high security measures and planned demonstrations, in Turkey the significance of the visit was assessed as low due to the tense relations between Berlin and Ankara.
This is an important indicator for the future of relations between the two countries. In this period when both sides have different expectations and goals, it is of great importance to maintain dialogue and cooperation. In this context, it is a matter of curiosity how the results of Erdoğan’s visit to Germany will be shaped in the upcoming period.
Although the impact of Erdoğan’s visit to Germany on Turkish-German relations is controversial, it is important that the dialogue between the two countries continues. The results of the visit and its reflections in the media reveal the difference in perception on relations. However, more time is needed to draw a clear conclusion on whether this visit has opened a new chapter in Turkish-German relations.
Given the historical ties and economic relations between Turkey and Germany, it is important that the two countries maintain a robust dialogue with each other. They have common interests, such as Turkey’s accession process to the European Union, the refugee crisis and security issues. Therefore, contacts such as Mr Erdoğan’s visit to Germany offer opportunities for further development of relations.
However, given the disagreements and tensions of recent years, a full normalisation of relations may take time. The results of Erdoğan’s visit to Germany and its reflections in the media show the difference in perception between the two countries. The media in both countries have different views and interpretations.
Therefore, although Erdoğan’s visit to Germany did not open a new chapter in Turkish-German relations, it is important that the dialogue between the two countries continues. Common interests and areas of cooperation should be identified and worked on. Communication and dialogue between the leaders of the two countries should be strengthened and relations based on mutual understanding should be built.