Turkish, German top diplomats discuss ties in a surprise meet

Turkish, German top diplomats discuss ties in a surprise meet

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ANTALYA: Turkish and German foreign ministers, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Sigmar Gabriel, held talks on a number of bilateral issues in a surprise meeting on early Nov 4 in Antalya amid ongoing chill in ties.

“I met my colleague @sigmargabriel in Antalya informally to discuss bilateral relations; including the difficult issues and mutual expectations,” Çavuşoğlu tweeted out after the meeting in his homeland.

The relationships between the two countries have long been suffering from a deep mistrust. Turkey has been accusing Germany of tolerating the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its activities in its territories and of granting asylum and protection to the members of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) following the failed coup attempt last year.

Germany, in return, has been accusing Turkey of arresting German nationals on baseless grounds including journalists and activists.

Turkey’s release of German national Peter Steudtner along with seven other activists who have been arrested over terror charges and recent release of another German whose name has not been announced have been regarded positive moves in terms of mending ties between the two countries.

Germany’s foreign ministry spokesman Rainer Breul said Nov 3 the German was freed from investigative custody on Oct. 22, but isn’t allowed to leave Turkey. He said the person asked authorities not to release further details.

Breul noted that nine other German citizens remain “in custody for political reasons in Turkey.” Those held included journalists Deniz Yücel and Meşale Tolu.__Hurriyet

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