09:24 GMT +322 September 2017
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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) during the G20 Summit in Antalya, on November 16, 2015

    ‘Erdogan Demands Submission': Why Turkey Is Difficult Partner for Germany

    © AFP 2017/ POOL / KAYHAN OZER
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under pressure: she has to limit the influx of refugees in order to appease her critics, German magazine Spiegel Online wrote.

    For this purpose, Merkel needs Turkey, with Erdogan being aware about Germany's vulnerability and taking advantage of the situation.

    The EU has already promised Ankara a three billion euro financial aid package and a visa-free regime for Turkish citizens. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, however, made it clear that these steps are an insufficient pay for Turkey‘s assistance.

    "Three billion euros are designed to demonstrate the political will to share the burden," the head of government told the German Press Agency earlier. "We are not begging for money from the EU. But if there is a serious commitment to share this burden, we have to sit down and talk about all details of the crisis," the politician stressed.

    "Erdogan demands submission," the magazine wrote, reminding that the country's military is currently waging war against the Kurds in southeastern parts of Turkey.

    The Turkish President is currently blocking the opposition in the country, arresting objectionable academics and sends critical journalists into jail. The chief editor of the Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet Can Dündar has been spending the last months in prison because he had reported on Turkey's weapons deliveries Islamist rebels in Syria.

    Replying to the question of whether Germany should cease cooperation with Turkey the magazine wrote that Ankara is an important partner to resolve the refugee crisis and fight against terror.

    However, partnership does not mean that Germany should silently watch how Turkish authorities are violating human rights and infringing on all possible freedoms.

    According to the magazine, Berlin must remind Turkey of the necessity to comply with minimum democratic and constitutional standards.

    "Germany should address the oppression of the Kurds, the restriction of media freedom, the persecution of opposition members in Turkey," the magazine wrote. "Moreover, it should make every effort to ensure that refugees in Turkey — Syrians as well as Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis — are decently treated, that they have access to education, healthcare and the labor market. That's at the end more effective than strict border controls."

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    Tags:
    violation, human rights, cooperation, Angela Merkel, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Germany, Turkey
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