Ankara, Berlin willing to mend ties: Turkish PM

Binali Yildirim urges Germany to put behind misunderstandings that had risen over past few months

Ankara, Berlin willing to mend ties: Turkish PM

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday that both Ankara and Berlin were willing to mend relations.

"The important thing is to display willingness in repairing relations. I see both the willingness and the effort on both Turkish and German sides," he said in an interview to German news agency DPA.

Speaking about the release of German journalist Deniz Yucel, he said: "It is not a matter that could poison or negatively affect our relations."

Die Welt correspondent Yucel, who was arrested last year on suspicion of spreading terrorist propaganda, was released from custody on Friday pending trial.

Despite calls by German politicians for his release, the Turkish government ruled out any political influence on the judiciary, but tried to speed up the proceedings, and advised the German government to wait for the decision of its courts.

Yildirim also called on the German government to put behind the tensions which had accelerated during the past few months. "The elections are now over, the referendum is over. The difficulties that emerged are now left behind."

Yildirim said there are 3,064 Turkish prisoners languishing in Germany. "It does not matter whether they are political [arrests] or not as long as they are in prison."

Ties between Ankara and Berlin have been strained since the defeated coup in Turkey in 2016, as Turkish politicians heavily criticized their German counterparts for failing to show strong solidarity with Turkish government against the attempted military takeover.

Ankara slammed Berlin for granting asylum to several coup suspects, turning a blind eye to outlawed groups and terrorist organizations like PKK and FETO, which use Germany as a platform for their fund-raising, recruitment and propaganda activities.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Şubat 2018, 09:47