Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said on Aug. 12 that tension with Europe was due to European domestic politics and relations with Berlin would improve after Germany’s parliamentary election in September. Hurriyet Daily News reports.
“Criticism from Europe is about their internal politics,” Erdoğan said in a speech in the western city of Isparta that was broadcast live on television.
“France and Austria did this before, we see that Germany follows the same strategy. I believe that this situation will improve after elections,” he said, referring to the Sept. 24 polls where Chancellor Angela Merkel is running for a fourth term.
Relations between the two countries have been severely strained due to a number of reasons since last year. Germany had to withdraw its Tornado aircrafts and troops from the İncirlik base in the southern province of Adana after Ankara refused a visit by German lawmakers there due to political issues.
In a reconciliatory move, Turkey said a visit to the Konya base would be possible as German troops deployed there are operating under a NATO mission. However, this was also blocked by Turkey in protest against Berlin’s ban on a visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to meet the Turkish community living in Germany when he attended a G20 summit.
The row over Konya was averted after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg intervened and suggested that a NATO visit including German lawmakers to the base should be held, with the Turkish Foreign Ministry stressing on the constructive and facilitating role of Stoltenberg.