The much anticipated three-day state visit to Germany by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğanafter a seven-year hiatus began on Sept. 27 with a heavy-loaded agenda on mainly bilateral political and economic issues that aim at normalizing once seriously damaged ties.
A written statement issued by the presidency informed that Erdoğan would meet both President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel on the occasion of the visit that will last until Sept. 29. Erdoğan and his accompanying delegation have arrived in Germany in the late afternoon on Sept. 27 following his four-day visit to the United States on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly.
“Turkey-Germany cooperation in political, economic, security, defense, cultural and social areas as well as the issues related to the Turkish community in Germany will be addressed during the talks,” read the presidential statement.
“Regional and global developments, particularly those concerning Syria, cooperation in the fight against terrorism and irregular migration, Turkey-EU relations and other issues that are of concern to both countries will also be on the agenda,” it added.
The ties between the two countries had seriously been hurt due to multiple reasons, particularly after the July 2016 failed coup, as many FETÖ-linked senior civilian and military bureaucrats sought asylum from Germany. The arrest of Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yücel, as well as around a dozen other German nationals on charges of terrorism or espionage further strained ties in 2017. In an article written to a German newspaper, Erdoğan wanted Germany to list FETÖ as a terrorist organization.
A reconciliation process between the two countries began after the completion of elections in both countries and as a result of the heavy engagement of the two foreign ministers.
As the visit comes at a moment when Turkey is trying to overcome a major economic turbulence, the two delegations are also expected to discuss ways to increase trade and investments while Turkey would press on Germany for the resumption of negotiations for an upgraded Customs Union deal between Turkey and the European Union.