Issue Brief on “Strains in Turkey-German Relations”

Given the heightened tensions between Berlin and Ankara, just before elections in Germany on September 24, 2017, Angela Merkel called for all EU accession talks with Turkey to be scrapped during her television debate. “The fact is clear that Turkey should not become an EU member,”[1] said Merkel.

This was an unprecedented approach by a highly realistic Merkel towards Ankara’s accession hopes.  Merkel’s vocal criticism on Turkey’s accession dates back to 2005, when she pledged to talk to EU partners about “a joint position… so that we can end these accession talks”.[2]

Her prime challenger, Martin Schulz of the Social Democrat Party, was the first one to have announced that he would break off the talks if he won the parliamentary elections.[3] He even opposed the demand that President Erdogan be allowed to speak during his German visit to attend G20 Summit, in Hamburg in June, 2017.

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