BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – The German government has sought to reach new agreements on strategies involving Syria and Ukraine in several meetings with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkey. Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minster Steinmeier met with Prime Minister Erdoğan yesterday. Steinmeier had already received his counterpart Davutoğlu at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday. Because of rivalry with Moscow over influence on Kiev, one of the topics of discussion in Berlin is Ankara’s possible “financial contributions” to the Ukraine. Turkey is holding talks with Iran on the war in Syria, obviously designed to complement the “P5+1” negotiations with Iran – which include Germany. Ankara is also intensifying its cooperation with the autonomous government of Kurdish Northern Iraq. Should Syria disintegrate, it could expedite the territorial reorganization of the region, particularly of the Kurdish speaking territories. To secure its influence on Turkey’s foreign policy, Berlin had initiated a “strategic dialogue” with Ankara last year, which should now be put to the test in relationship to the Ukraine and Syria.
Support against Moscow
In the effort to push back Russia’s influence on Kiev, Berlin is mobilizing all possible resources and would like to have more support from Ankara. Turkey and the Ukraine, two important countries at the Black Sea, are already cooperating in the so called War on Terror as well as in police and border control measures. Last fall, they decided to intensify this cooperation. This is also to provide Kiev an additional margin of maneuver in its relations with Moscow, while NATO-member Turkey seeks to reinforce its own position in the Black Sea. This is why Berlin proposed that Turkey be induced to help in financing the steps that support the imposition of an alignment on the West. The relevant “financial aid” is being discussed in Berlin, Brussels and in Washington since last weekend. This aid is aimed at preempting Russia’s support for the Ukraine.
Middle East Support
These German efforts are, above all, aimed at winning influence in Turkey’s policy on the Middle East – a region, where Ankara has developed extensive activities over the past few years. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) This applies particularly to Syria, where, since 2011, the Turkish government, alongside leading Western powers, including Germany, has been using every possible means to overthrow the government of Bashar al Assad. Among the fruits of this cooperation are the Bundeswehr’s Patriot missile batteries stationed in Turkey. Last week, the German Bundestag voted – with votes from the Green Party – a prolongation of the mission. Far-reaching consequences are expected in Syrian developments, which are particularly dependent on two fields of Turkish foreign policy activities: the developments in the region’s Kurdish-speaking territories and Ankara’s relationship to Teheran. Berlin is, at least indirectly, involved in both.
Full article: Geostrategically Very Prominent (German Foreign Policy)