Germany's Merkel defended talks, cooperation despite opposition to Turkey in Europe
Angela Merkel became European politician who knew importance of Turkey for Europe
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has always been a leader who advocated dialogue and cooperation with Ankara, despite opposition to Turkey in Europe.
Merkel, who is preparing to hand over power, made her 12th visit to Turkey on Saturday.
Turkey ranked 11th among the 92 countries Merkel visited the most.
Merkel, who served as chancellor for 16 years, has become a European politician who know the importance of Turkey best for Europe.
The chancellor has always described Turkey as a "strategic important neighbor" and argued that "dialogue and cooperation should always be made with Turkey in the light of mutual interests."
She frequently met Erdogan
Relations between Germany and Turkey have always been important during Merkel's term as prime minister. She had frequent phone calls with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Although she never supported Turkey's EU membership and offered a privileged partnership, Merkel has been the biggest supporter of dialogue with Turkey despite all the tension between the two countries.
She played a mediating role in the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean due to Greece’s unilateral steps.
Standing against French President Emmanuel Macron's policies in favor of Greece and the Greek Cypriot, Merkel blocked efforts of the front led by the France-Greece duo to impose an embargo on Turkey.
Despite the one-sided and provocative anti-Turkey reports in German media, she did not allow campaigns to affect Turkey's policy.
Merkel favored continuation of talks with Turkey
Merkel said in many speeches that Turkey plays a central role for the EU in the fight against migration.
She came to the fore as one of the architects of the 2016 refugee agreement between Turkey and the EU, which plays an important role in migration for Germany and the EU.
She also emphasized the importance of "continuing the dialogue with NATO member Turkey" by emphasizing that "Turkey is an important country in the region that cannot be ignored" in her speech in Israel.
The revelation of far-right National Socialist Underground (NSU) murders, which emerged in connection with the murder of 10 people, eight of whom were Turkish, in Germany in 2011, was a separate test for the German government and Merkel.
But she never lived up to her promise to shed light on the murders.
Erdogan met Merkel on Saturday in Istanbul at the Huber Mansion in Tarabya.
Two leaders talked "about the more than three million Turks living in Germany, and also about the global importance of protecting the climate," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter about the hour-long meeting.
*Writing by Beyza Binnur Donmez
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