Chancellor Merkel’s actions during her visit to Turkey were largely guided by concerns about her domestic popularity, giving Turkey a level of leverage which belies the two countries’ trade imbalance.
• With elections this year and Merkel losing ground to the far right, her priority on this visit was to show she is maintaining Turkey’s cooperation on the refugee readmission deal.
• This combined with a need to demonstrate a tough attitude towards restrictions on the press in Turkey to other sections of her base made for a tense encounter.
• Despite Turkey’s overwhelming reliance on Germany for its export regime, it wields significant leverage over the country due to Germany’s domestic political concerns.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Turkey last week saw a tense press conference with President Erdogan, which drew out many of the contradictions and tensions in the two countries’ current relations. Elections are looming this year in Germany and Merkel’s popularity is less certain than in previous years, with concerns…
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9 February 2017
Photo credit: Guclu Anadolu Gazetesi