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German–Turkish relations have their beginnings in the times of the Ottoman Empire and have culminated in the development of strong bonds with many facets that include economic, military, cultural and social relations. With Turkey as a candidate for the European Union, of which Germany is the biggest member, and the existence of a huge Turkish diaspora in Germany, these relations have become more and more intertwined over the decades. Relations with Turkey significantly deteriorated after the 2016–17 Turkish purges and Turkey's turn to authoritarianism including the arrest of journalists such as Die Welt's Deniz Yücel.
- 1 History
- 2 Accession of Turkey to the European Union
- 3 State visits
- 4 Economic relations
- 5 Relationship between Turkish and German political parties
- 6 Turkish diaspora
- 7 Turkish espionage in Germany
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Medieval and Early Modern periods
Wars between the Holy Roman Empire and Ottoman Empire
- Battle of Nicopolis (1396)
- Battle of Mohács (1526)
- First Turkish Siege of Vienna (1529)
- Little War in Hungary (1530–1552)
- Italian War of 1536–38
- Siege of Buda (1541)
- Italian War of 1542–46
- Siege of Esztergom (1543)
- Siege of Nice (1543)
- Italian War of 1551–59
- Long Turkish War (1591–1606)
- Turkish Siege of Érsekújvár (1663)
- Battle of Saint Gotthard (1664)
- Great Turkish War (1683–1699)
- Second Turkish Siege of Vienna (1683)
- Battle of Párkány (1683)
- First Holy League Siege of Buda (1684)
- Holy League Siege of Érsekújvár (1685)
- Second Holy League Siege of Buda (1686)
- Siege of Pécs (1686)
- Second Battle of Mohács (1687)
- Holy League Siege of Belgrade (1688)
- Turkish Siege of Belgrade (1690)
- Battle of Slankamen (1691)
- Battle of Lugos (1695)
- Battle of Ulaş (1696)
- Battle of Cenei (1696)
- Battle of Zenta (1697)
Late 19th century and World War I
- Baghdad Railway
- Ottoman–German Alliance
- Pursuit of Goeben and Breslau
- Middle Eastern theatre of World War I
The German proposals to build a railway system toward Baghdad alarmed the British, for it threatened British control over the links to India. However these issues were peacefully resolved in February 1914, and did not play a role in the July 1914 crisis that ended in the Great War.
The Ottoman–German Alliance was an alliance between the German Empire and the Ottoman Empire made on August 2, 1914, shortly following the outbreak of World War I. The alliance was created as part of a joint-cooperative effort that would strengthen and modernize the failing Ottoman military, as well as provide Germany safe passage into neighboring British colonies. The treaty came from the initiative of the Ottomans. It was replaced in January 1915 by a full-scale military alliance that promised Ottoman entry into the war.
World War II
During World War II, Turkey maintained diplomatic relations with Germany until August 1944. The German–Turkish Non-Aggression Pact was signed on 18 June 1941. In October 1941, the "Clodius Agreement" (named after the German negotiator, Dr. Carl August Clodius) was achieved, whereby Turkey would export up 45,000 tons of chromite ore to Germany in 1941-1942, and 90,000 tons of the mineral in each of 1943 and 1944, contingent on Germany's supplies of military equipment to Turkey. The Germans provided as many as 117 railway locomotives and 1,250 freight rail cars to transport the ore. In an attempt to prevent the supply of this strategic mineral to Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom went on a spree of what was termed "preclusive buying," buying out Turkish chromite even if they did not need so much of it. As a part of the "package deal," the Anglo-Americans bought Turkish dried fruit and tobacco as well.
In August 1944, the Soviet Army entered Bulgaria and cut overland contact between Turkey and the Axis powers. Turkey severed its diplomatic and commercial relations with Germany, and on February 23, 1945, declared war on Germany.
Accession of Turkey to the European Union
Germany's support to the Turkish bid has not been consistent in the German political arena. Support has varied over time; for example one former Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, expressed opposition on the issue, while another, Gerhard Schröder, was seen to be a staunch supporter.
Chancellor Merkel's views on accession
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has advocated a "vaguely defined partnership" and has opposed full membership of Turkey to the EU. Current Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in response in July 2009, "We will never accept a privileged partnership. We want full membership into the EU. We don't want anything else than full membership.”
In 2006, Chancellor Merkel said "Turkey could be in deep, deep trouble when it comes to its aspirations to join the European Union" regarding its refusal to open up its ports to European Union member Cyprus. She added:
We need an implementation of the Ankara Protocols regarding unrestricted trade with Cyprus too. Otherwise, the situation becomes very, very serious when it comes to the continuation of Turkey's accession negotiations. I appeal to Turkey to do everything to avoid such a complicated situation and not to lead the European Union into such a situation.
Merkel also said that she could not imagine negotiations continuing without concessions made by Ankara toward opening up its ports to Cypriot ships. The Turkish Government responded by demanding that the EU lift its embargo on the Turkish-controlled part of the island in return.
Temporary block of accession talks in June 2013
On 20 June 2013, in the wake of Ankara's crackdown on mass demonstrations in Taksim Square and throughout the country, Germany blocked the start to new EU accession talks with Turkey. According to the Financial Times, one Turkish official said that such a move could potentially break off political relations with the bloc. "The EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU," Egemen Bagis, Turkey's EU minister stated. "If we have to, we could tell them, "get lost.'" Germany says that its reservation stems from a technical issue, but Angela Merkel has described herself as "shocked" after Ankara's use of overwhelming police force against mostly peaceful demonstrators.
On 25 June EU foreign ministers backed a German proposal to postpone further EU membership talks with Turkey for about four months due to the Turkey's handling of the protests. A delay in opening new chapters for Turkey would raise new doubts about whether the country should ever be admitted to the European Union. In early June in comments on Turkey's possible membership German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not address the compromise proposal but said Turkey must make progress on its relations with EU member Cyprus to give impetus to its membership ambitions. 
In 2008, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Berlin and met Chancellor Merkel, and also visited Munich. He suggested during the visit that the German government establish Turkish medium schools and that German high schools hire more teachers from Turkey.
In 2011, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made another visit to Germany During a speech in Düsseldorf, he urged Turks in Germany, to integrate, but not assimilate, a statement that caused a political outcry in Germany.
Germany and Turkey have held strong economic ties with one another throughout time. Machinery, electrical goods and motor vehicles and supply parts for the automobile industry account for a particularly large portion of German exports to Turkey. Textiles/leather goods and food, and increasingly motor vehicles and electronic goods, are the principal German imports from Turkey. At present, companies owned by Turkish businessmen in Germany employ approximately 200 thousand people. The annual turnover of these companies has reached 45 billion marks. More than three million German tourists visit Turkey annually. More than 4000 German companies are active in Turkey. Germany has turned out to be the number one partner of Turkey in fields such as foreign trade, financial and technical cooperation, tourism and defense industry.
Relationship between Turkish and German political parties
HDP and German green party
AKP and CDU
On 16 February 2004, Angela Merkel, then chairwoman of the German opposition party CDU, met with representatives of the ruling Turkish party AKP. The press response was somewhat perplexing, as for example, the German magazine Der Spiegel first reported of a "Anti-Türkei-Reise" (Anti-Turkey-voyage) and only hours later that "CDU will mit islamischer AKP kooperieren" (CDU wants to cooperate with Islamic AKP). On 31 July 2016, the German Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported, that the "Union der Vielfalt", a group of members of the CDU warned the party leadership against infiltration from the AKP.
Based on good Turkish-German relations from the 19th century onwards, Germany promoted a Turkish immigration to Germany. However, large scale didn't occur until the 20th century. Germany suffered an acute labor shortage after World War II and, in 1961, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) officially invited Turkish workers to Germany to fill in this void, particularly to work in the factories that helped fuel Germany's economic miracle. The German authorities named these people Gastarbeiter (German for guest workers). Most Turks in Germany trace their ancestry to Central and Eastern Anatolia. Today, Turks are Germany's largest ethnic minority and form most of Germany's Muslim minority.
Turkish espionage in Germany
In July 2015 The Tagesspiegel newspaper reported that German federal prosecutors were looking into claims that three men - two Turks and a German national - were instructed by MIT to spy on Erdogan critics in Cologne, particularly Kurds and members of the Muslim minority Alevi community.
In 2016, Bundestag Parliamentary Oversight Panel members demanded answer from German government about the reports that Germans of Turkish origin are being pressured in Germany by informers and officers of Turkey's MIT spy agency. According to reports Turkey had 6,000 informants plus MIT officers in Germany who were putting pressure on "German Turks". Hans-Christian Ströbele told that there was an "unbelievable" level of "secret activities" in Germany by Turkey's MIT agency. According to Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, not even the former communist East German Stasi secret police had managed to run such a large "army of agents" in the former West Germany: "Here, it's not just about intelligence gathering, but increasingly about intelligence service repression." German lawmakers have called for an investigation, charging that Turkey is spying on suspected Gulen followers in Germany. Many people who were spied upon were German citizens.
In March 2017 the Turkish secret intelligence service MIT was accused of conducting espionage of more than 300 people and 200 associations and schools linked to supporters of exiled Fethullah Gülen. Boris Pistorius, interior minister for Lower Saxony State, called this "intolerable and unacceptable", stating that "the intensity and ruthlessness with which people abroad are being investigated is remarkable". A German security official said that "we are horrified at how openly Turkey reveals that it is spying on Turks living here".  On 30 March 2017 Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere expresses suspicions that the move may have been intended to weigh on Turkish-German relations − "to provoke us in some way". The appallment was deepened when it was revealed that the 300 persons included politicians, including Michelle Müntefering.
In October 2017, according to German press reports officials working in Germany's immigration authorities pass on information about Turkish asylum seekers to Turkey. In many cases, even their locations were also revealed, that even their families did not know for security reasons. These incidents showed that Turkish spies may have infiltrated German authorities. In addition, Herbert Reul, the interior minister for the German state of the North Rhine-Westphalia, submitted a report to the state parliament, alleging that the Turkish-German organisation "Osmanen Germania" works with MIT. The organisation denied the accusations. In July 2018, Germany banned the organisation on allegations it is involved in organized crime and represents a threat to the general public.
- EU-Turkey relations
- Böhmermann affair
- Turkish constitutional referendum, 2017 § Germany
- Armenian Genocide denial
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- Turkey spies betraying asylum seekers in German immigration offices
- 'Sons of AKP': Turkish-German biker gang accused of aiding Turkish spies
- Germany bans Turkish biker gang Osmanen Germania