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Clouds gather over Turkish-German economic ties

Exasperated over Turkey’s disregard for the rule of law and its arrest of German nationals, Berlin has raised the specter of economic sanctions against Turkey.

Over the past several years, Turkey has suffered economic harm due to “road accidents” in its foreign relations, courtesy of ill-conceived steps by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The 2015 plane-shooting crisis with Russia was the most bruising in this respect. Turkey has yet to fully recover from Moscow’s economic sanctions, which included import bans on certain Turkish products, restrictions on Turkish businesses operating in Russia, visa restrictions for Turkish nationals and a drastic fall in the flow of Russian tourists to Turkey. With its economy taking serious blows, Ankara extended an apology to Moscow in June 2016, scrambling to rebuild bilateral ties. Despite certain improvements, however, the relationship has failed to return to its pre-crisis level.

Then, in early June, Turkey took sides in the crisis in the Gulf, standing by Qatar against the Saudi-led bloc of Sunni countries. This also brought the risk of economic harm. Turkey nowadays is trying to position itself as a mediator, keen to preserve economic opportunities on both sides.

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