Home Europe Tensions Between Turkey, Germany Risks ‘Backfiring at the Entire EU’

Tensions Between Turkey, Germany Risks ‘Backfiring at the Entire EU’

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AP Photo/ Tolga Bozoglu

It is unacceptable that the European Union uses Turkey as an instrument of its domestic policy, according to Turkish lawmaker Kasim Gulpinar.

Recently, tensions spiked again between Ankara and Berlin after Turkish Parliament Deputy Speaker Ayse Nur Bahcekapili was temporarily detained by police at the Cologne airport.

She spent about 45 minutes at the airport because German police considered invalid her temporary identity card received in the Turkish consulate after her bag with a diplomatic passport was stolen in Cologne. In response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly criticized German authorities over such incidents and warned about retaliatory measures. German Ambassador to Ankara Martin Erdmann was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry over the incident. In an interview with  Kasim Gulpinar, a Turkish lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), commented on tensions in Turkey’s ties with the European Union and Germany. “Ankara’s relations with Berlin should not be considered separately from Ankara’s ties with Brussels,” he underscored.

After Turkey and the EU reached an agreement on liberalization of the visa regime with the bloc, the deal was criticized by the Turkish opposition but also by many in the European Parliament and Germany.

“Finally, visa liberalization has been suspended. This means that the migrant problem is open again. So, critics in the European Parliament now understand what was the point of the deal with Turkey,” the lawmaker said. He noted that Germany is Turkey’s main ally in Europe and Ankara should pay more attention in settling tensions with Berlin.

Commenting on the incident with Bahcekapili, the lawmaker said that it will have negative consequences for Turkish-German relations.

“I hope that the principle of mutuality will not be used here and Ankara will not have to respond with the same actions. But the incident will be negative for the bilateral relations. I think that German should abandon its domestic political fears [related to Turkey],” Gulpinar said. The lawmaker stressed that the German government considers Turkey as the “most important instrument of its domestic policy,” which contradicts the logic of politics and cannot be acceptable. “Turks has influence in Germany. If they are seen only as a political instrument it is impossible to resolve tensions in Ankara’s ties with Berlin and Brussels. Finally, this situation will backfire at Germany and the entire EU,” he said. “I insist that empathy should be the key word in Turkish relations with the EU. We will be able to resolve tensions only each side understands and takes care of the interests of the other side,” the lawmaker concluded.

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