Germany and Turkey's Quiet Alliance
Though Berlin and Ankara's relationship is often contentious, they know they need each other.
Germany and Turkey are highly interdependent. Ankara relies on trade and funding from Germany while Berlin needs Turkey’s cooperation on the refugee crisis. Ongoing diplomatic spats and political clashes between Ankara and Berlin mask the depth of this mutual dependency. Both the German and Turkish leadership have strong incentives to put differences aside, make concessions and continue working together closely.
- On the surface, Germany and Turkey have diverging goals and a troubled relationship.
- Germany and Turkey’s different economic structures and levels of development led to the emergence of strong economic ties. Turkey is currently very economically dependent on Germany.
- Germany relies heavily on Turkey to relieve domestic political pressures and help prevent further deterioration of EU cohesion.
- Distrust of Russia has the potential to bring Germany and Turkey closer together.
Over the past few months, it has become common to hear Turkish and German politicians publicly exchange harsh words and accusations. Turkey has recalled its ambassador from Berlin, German members of parliament have called for an investigation into alleged Turkish spying, and leaders from both sides have threatened to renege on previous agreements. And yet the German-Turkish relationship remains strong.