There are few, if any, examples of two countries, without common state borders, that possess such an intense relationship as that of Turkey and Germany. Nowadays, the relationship of the two states while closely intertwined, and however paradoxically, seems to be as bad as it has ever been. This commentary provides a brief analysis of the bilateral relations since 2005 to conclude with the latest German federal elections in 2017 and their impact on Turkish-German relations. Accordingly, it is argued that it is more likely that essential Turkish-German disputes will persist in the short and medium term.
Turkish-German relations go back to the 16th century and have since then been sustained in different realms, such as the military, diplomacy and economy. Naturally, different historical incidents have had different impacts on those relations and have shaped them each in a specific manner. This essay intends first of all to delineate the different stages which Turkish-German relations have undergone through history. Secondly, it will try to reflect on the qualitative changes in Turkish-German relations which have occurred as a result of historical developments. Touching upon issues like Turkey’s possible EU membership, the PKK problem, the rise of Islamophobia in Europe and the NSU case, it will try to elaborate on both the burdens and possibilities which presently underlie those relations.