Jan 17 2018

German-Turkish relations begin thawing over security concerns

A meeting on Wednesday between high-ranking Turkish officials and representatives of the German interior ministry over the threat from Islamic State (ISIS) militants represents a crucial thaw in bilateral ties, German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle said.

"Germany is a point of origin and a destination for jihadi terrorists, whose journeys to and from Syria take them via Turkey," it quoted an Interior Ministry spokeswoman as saying, and this made “close cooperation with Turkey” essential.

The two countries had allowed security co-operation to lapse for almost a year due to a diplomatic rift following the July 2016 failed coup attempt, the broadcaster said.

Almost 8,000 Turkish citizens, including members of the Fethullah Gülen group, a secretive religious movement Turkey blames for masterminding the coup, applied for asylum in Germany in the wake of the coup.

The post-coup crackdowns inside Turkey also led to the jailing of a number of German citizens, including journalist Deniz Yücel, who has been held for more than 10 months without formal charge, Deutsche Welle said.