The rule of law and democracy in Turkey are under threat of extinction, said the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier in an interview with ZDF.
“He [Erdogan] is trying not only to reshape the country by itself, but pursuing the few remaining critics and the opposition, <…> sends them to prison, and plug their mouths,” said Steinmeier.
According to him, Erdogan is solely responsible for the deterioration of relations between Turkey and Europe and the recession in the Turkish economy, which, according to the President of Germany, will lead the policy of Erdogan.
Change of German policy towards Turkey is in these circumstances it is quite proper, said Steinmeier. “We can’t accept” what is happening in Turkey, he said and added that it was “a matter of self-respect” of Germany.
Earlier, on 20 July, about the change of Berlin’s foreign policy towards Turkey, declared the foreign Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel. According to him, the decision was made after consultation with the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and the head of the Social democratic party, Martin Schulz.
As reported by DW, Gabriel said that relations with Turkey “cannot be developed as before. Every new exacerbation of Ankara, the German government tried to react calmly in the hope that the Turkish authorities will start to act reasonably, but every once in Berlin was “disappointed”, the Minister explained.
He announced that Berlin would revise the conditions under which Germany provided Turkey investment loans and economic assistance, such as state guarantees under credits. In addition, should review the provision of assistance of the European Union in the framework of the preparation of Turkey to join the EU, and the German foreign Ministry will tighten its recommendations on the safety for the citizens of Germany who wish to visit Turkey.
Restricted were also military-technical cooperation — Berlin intends to suspend shipments of arms to Turkey. Earlier, Turkey, as a country — ally of Germany in NATO, have faced great difficulties in the supply of arms from Germany. “We look forward to the return [of Turkey] to the European values”, — said Gabriel, implying a condition of renewal of cooperation.
Turkey’s relations with Germany worsened, including through NATO, after the suppression of the coup attempt in July 2016. In March 2017 Deutsche Welle reported that the German authorities more than ten times ignored requests from the Turkish military on the supply of arms in the period from November 2016 to March 2017. The German government is motivated by the fact that it can be used for “internal repression” in the country, particularly against the opposition and the Kurds and the fighting in Syria.