'We are Partners in NATO': Turkey, Germany Agree to Mend Relations After Ankara-Berlin Tensions

Published February 17th, 2018 - 09:39 GMT
An inscription reading "Deniz Yucel is free after 367 days!" is seen on the top of the headquarters of German newspaper "Die Welt" on Feb. 16, 2018 in Berlin, after Turkey released German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel from prison. Turkey has released Deniz Yucel from prison after more than one year behind bars. His incarceration has been the biggest stumbling block to rebuilding badly damaged ties between the governments of German Chancellor and Turkish President. (Stefanie LOOS / AFP)
An inscription reading "Deniz Yucel is free after 367 days!" is seen on the top of the headquarters of German newspaper "Die Welt" on Feb. 16, 2018 in Berlin, after Turkey released German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel from prison. Turkey has released Deniz Yucel from prison after more than one year behind bars. His incarceration has been the biggest stumbling block to rebuilding badly damaged ties between the governments of German Chancellor and Turkish President. (Stefanie LOOS / AFP)

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Germany agreed Friday to work towards improving bilateral relations after a period of tensions between Ankara and Berlin.

Speaking to reporters in Munich following a meeting with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said they have agreed on deepening dialogue and cooperation.

"As foreign ministers, we will continue working together to strengthen and deepen our bilateral relations between Turkey and Germany as well as our cooperation on many regional issues,” Cavusoglu said.

The meeting, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, coincided with the release Friday of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who was arrested in Turkey last year on suspicion of spreading terrorist propaganda.

Cavusoglu stressed that Yucel’s release was an independent decision of the court and the government did not have any influence on the ruling.

He noted that his government only asked the Ministry of Justice to speed up the proceedings.

The long detention period of Yucel, a correspondent for the German daily Die Welt, had been a source of friction between the two countries.

Despite calls by German politicians for Yucel’s release, the Turkish government ruled out any political influence on the judiciary and advised them to wait for the decision of its courts.

The 32nd High Penal Court in Istanbul on Friday ordered Yucel’s release from custody pending trial.

“We overcame one of the issues between us. Now we have to focus on a more positive agenda,” Cavusoglu stressed.

Gabriel thanks Turkish government.

German Foreign Minister Gabriel also welcomed Yucel’s release.

"I know that this was an independent decision of the court,” he said, thanking the Turkish government for helping to speed up the proceedings.

"This is a signal that diplomacy -- without megaphones, speaking to each other -- can solve difficult issues,” he said.

Gabriel said Germany and Turkey would enhance dialogue and cooperation in various fields, including the economy, energy and security and would try to overcome remaining differences.

"We are partners in NATO. We have the same security interests,” he added.

This article has been adapted from its origianl source.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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