Skip to main content

Tensions with Germany expose rift in AKP ranks

The contrasting statements of Turkey's president and prime minister over the latest row with Germany signal a rift ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Kappeler,POOL - RTX3ADT9
Read in 

ANKARA, Turkey — The crisis between Turkey and Germany, escalating with back-to-back spats, reached new heights this month with the arrest of German national and human rights consultant Peter Steudtner during a police raid on a meeting of human rights defenders, whom the government accuses of planning subversive activities. Following the arrests, Germany for the first time raised the prospect of sanctions against Turkey.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on July 20 that Berlin could no longer guarantee German company investments in Turkey because of the lack of “legal certainty.” He also warned that German citizens were “no longer safe from arbitrary arrests” in the country. “We can’t go on as we have before,” Gabriel said. “We have to be clearer than before so that those in charge in Ankara understand that such a policy won’t be without consequences.” Gabriel’s statement was widely perceived in Turkey as a threat of sanctions and a veiled call to German entrepreneurs and tourists to stop investing and vacationing in the country.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.