Relations between Türkiye and the Federal Republic of Germany

After having signed a treaty of peace and friendship with the Kingdom of Prussia in 1790, the Ottoman Empire intensified its military ties with Germany, especially during the reign of Abdülhamid II. The relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Germany was not restricted to being allies in World War. The two countries also cooperated on several large scale investment projects, such as the construction of the Istanbul-Baghdad Railway.

In the aftermath of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in 1933, Türkiye provided refuge to Germans of Jewish descent, left-wing and liberal academics and engineers, who fled their homeland. These intellectuals played an important role in the reorganization of universities and in the foundation of industrial plants and companies in Türkiye. The commercial, economic and cultural ties between Türkiye and Germany were further developed and intensified during the Cold War. Subsequently in 1960’s with the signing of the Labour Recruitment Agreement between Türkiye and Germany, a great number of Turkish citizens immigrated to Germany. In 2021 the 60th Anniversary of the signing of Labour Recruitment Agreement was celebrated with events by the participation of high level politicians and officials.

One of Türkiye’s important allies in Europe, we have multi-faceted relations with Germany, which include political, economic, military and human dimensions with a long-standing background. High-level mutual visits as well as contacts at technical levels are being held regularly.

The bilateral relations between Türkiye and Germany endured a problematic period starting with the decision of the German Federal Parliament on 2 June 2016 to recognize the 1915 events as “genocide” and other negative developments. Through dialogue, mutual steps, and high level contacts, normalization in relations has been achieved.

President Erdoğan paid a State Visit to Berlin on 27-29 September 2018 and the momentum brought by the visit was continued with mutual visits. The then Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Türkiye to attend the Ouadrilateral Summit on Syria in İstanbul in October 2019, President Erdoğan also attended the Libya Conference held in Berlin on 19 January 2020. Chancellor Merkel’s working visit to Türkiye on 24 January 2020 has brought a new dynamism to bilateral relations. Since the second half of 2020, despite the conditions of pandemic, President Erdoğan and Chancellor Merkel held many telephone/videoconference meetings. President and Chancellor Merkel held a bilateral meeting on the margins of the NATO Summit in Brussels on 14 June 2021, and on 16 October 2021 Chancellor Merkel came to İstanbul for a farewell visit. Finally, our President had a brief meeting with Chancellor Merkel on the margins of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome on 31 October.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, also held telephone/videoconference meetings with Heiko Maas, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, several times during the pandemic period, and on 18 January 2021 German Foreign Minister Maas paid a working visit to Ankara. Minister Çavuşoğlu paid a working visit to Berlin on 6 May 2021, and had bilateral meetings with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Minister of Interior Mr. Horst Seehofer, Parliamentary State Secretary for Tourism at the Ministry of Economy Mr.Thomas Bareiss and the Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Mr.Armin Laschet (Chairman of CDU) as well as Minister of Foreing Affairs Mr. Maas,

On 23 June 2021, Minister Çavuşoğlu had a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Maas on the margins of the Berlin Conference on Libya, and Minister Maas paid a working visit to Türkiye on 29 August 2021 to discuss regional and bilateral issues. Minister Çavuşoğlu also held telephone conversations with the then Foreign Minister Mr.Heiko Maas on 14 October 2021 and with the new Foreign Minister Ms. Annalena Baerbock on 23 December 2021.

Approximately 3 million people of Turkish origin living in Germany constitute the human dimension of our relations. They have been contributing to Germany’s social life and economic prosperity for many years. In Germany, there are 3 members of the European Parliament, 18 members of the German Federal Parliament, 53 members of State Parliament and 486 members in Municipality Councils who are of Turkish descent.