Discussions about climate protection and German-Turkish relations
There are many reasons to work on good relations between Germany and Turkey, as Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed after discussions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Not least among them is the fact that more than three million people of Turkish origin live in Germany, as well as the signing of the recruitment agreement 60 years ago.
The Federal Chancellor referred to the many moving stories that had come to the fore on the anniversary of the agreement. For example, doctors and scientists talked together with their parents or, in some cases, grandparents who had come from Turkey about what this had meant for them and their paths through life. There were a lot of successful examples, one of which was of course the development of a coronavirus vaccine by Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin.
“I welcome the fact that Turkey has now ratified the Paris Agreement”
Federal Chancellor Merkel met President Erdogan in Istanbul on Saturday. The discussions took place in the historic district of Tarabya on the Bosphorus, and included a focus on global climate protection. The very serious forest fires in Turkey and the flood disaster in Germany revealed the importance of this, Merkel said, adding: “I greatly welcome the fact that Turkey has now ratified the Paris Agreement. We will therefore have a G20 meeting in Rome at which we can say that all G20 members support this agreement.” She went on to say that in this context, Germany would support Turkey bilaterally in the development of environmentally friendly technologies.
Human rights issues on the agenda
Federal Chancellor Merkel said that she and the Turkish president had discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations. She had also addressed cases of German citizens who are currently in Turkey and not free to leave. Human rights issues had repeatedly played an important role in the last few years, the Federal Chancellor said.
Relations between the EU and Turkey
Relations between the European Union and Turkey were also on the agenda. The important question here was, of course, the fight against illegal migration, as well as the EU’s support of Turkey, which should be continued, according to the Federal Chancellor. “Turkey is making an exceptional contribution with regard to Syrian refugees,” she said.
The situation in Syria itself, of course, also played a role in this context. This had been the subject of intensive discussion, as had the topic of Libya. The important thing here would be to hold elections as early as possible and find a sustainable solution for Libya.
Humanitarian aid for Afghanistan
With regard to Afghanistan, the Federal Chancellor said: “In order to prevent people from Afghanistan becoming the victims of smugglers and traffickers, we must ensure that humanitarian aid is provided in Afghanistan.” She said she had affirmed Germany’s support for the UN organisations in particular, so that the winter would not become a disaster for Afghanistan.
The Federal Chancellor said that the discussions in Istanbul had been extensive, and that time and again, she was convinced “that it is only through discussions and contact that the various issues – whether these be human rights, Cypress or others – can be overcome.”