Merkel, Erdogan Hold Constructive Talks

Merkel, Erdogan Hold Constructive Talks Merkel, Erdogan Hold Constructive Talks

After “constructive” talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan, German Chancellor Merkel she said there could be “good news” for lawmakers who want to visit German troops in Turkey. And for Turks who want to visit the EU.

The meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit on Sunday was the first time the two leaders had come face-to-face since the attempted coup staged by a rogue section of Turkey’s military on July 15, DPA reported.

“The conversation was constructive,” a German government spokesman said in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

After the meeting, Merkel said she sees a chance in the coming weeks for the EU and Turkey to resolve their disagreements over visa-free travel for Turks visiting the EU. She also said there would likely be “good news” in the next few days for German lawmakers who want to visit troops stationed in Turkey.

Relations between Germany and Turkey deteriorated in June after German parliamentarians backed a resolution recognizing the mass killing of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman forces in 1915-16 as genocide. In response, Turkey blocked German delegations from accessing Incirlik.

The German government has since sought to defuse tensions, for example, by pointing out that the resolution is not legally binding. The government in Berlin has not, however, publically distanced itself from the parliamentary resolution as a report in the German news magazine “Der Speigel” reported this week that it would.

Turkey, the Ottoman Empire’s successor state, objects to the word “genocide”, and says many Turks, as well as Armenians, were killed during the violence.

The German government said Merkel and Erdogan had also discussed “shared concerns about the ongoing Syrian civil war”.