Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey is ready to normalize relations with Germany, adding that Ankara can work with Cem Özdemir, the Turkish-German co-chairman of Germany’s Green Party, if German Chancellor Angela Merkel forms a government with the Greens, Deutsche Welle reported on Saturday.
“If you take one step towards us, we will take two steps towards you,” said Çavuşoğlu in an interview with German weekly Der Spiegel.
Underlining that he is ready to work with Özdemir if he becomes foreign minister of the expected new government, Çavuşoğlu said: “It would be wrong to describe relations between countries by means of one person.”
Özdemir has been calling on the German government to take a stronger stance against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government because of violations of human rights and press freedom in Turkey.
“Turkey can’t be a member of the European Union under Erdoğan’s rule,” said Özdemir in September, calling on Germany not to sell arms to Turkey.
In March Özdemir reacted to the spying activities of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) targeting critical Turkish citizens in Germany, saying Turkish informants who believe Erdoğan is so wonderful can go live in Turkey.
In his interview with Der Spiegel, Çavuşoğlu defended Erdoğan’s Nazi remarks about German politicians: “President Erdoğan’s Nazi remarks were just a response to the hostile attitude of Germany. We will continue working together with the German federal government in a trustful manner.”
Concerning the situation of jailed German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel and German human rights activist Peter Steudtner, Çavuşoğlu said the courts would decide, adding that he had requested relevant ministries to speed up Steudtner’s court proceedings.