Volkan Bozkır met Germany’s Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth as part of his first official visit to Germany as Turkey’s new Minister for EU Affairs. As both ministers underlined in view of the dramatic situation on the Turkish-Syrian border, this was a meeting held in difficult times.
Standing together against the threat of terrorism
Roth condemned the atrocities committed by the terrorist group ISIS as “reprehensible terrorism under the mantle of religion”.
“We need to stand together and face this threat”, he said, and went on to commend Turkey’s major and dedicated efforts in the field of providing sanctuary to the refugees.
Another subject discussed during the Turkish-German talks was Turkey’s process of aligning itself with the EU. The two sides were in agreement on the progress achieved and spoke in favour of committedly continuing with the talks. Nonetheless, the open and warm discussion did not eschew concerns about the development of the rule of law and democracy.
We mustn’t let up in our efforts in the ongoing negotiations, and we have to remain in constant dialogue. Dealing with the EU is a bit like riding a bike: if you stop moving forwards, you fall over.
Deep and multifaceted: German-Turkish relations
Germany’s Minister of State for Europe once again advocated opening chapters 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and 24 (Justice, Freedom and Security) of the accession negotiations.
Afterwards, the two politicians saw first-hand just how multifaceted and deep German-Turkish relations are, particularly in Berlin, at a joint lunch attended by numerous representatives of civil society, the arts, the media and business whose Turkish roots prove an enriching and considerable influence in German society.