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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) shakes hands with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Germany and Turkey's long history of cooperation

An Enduring Friendship

July 2013, Number 04.03

“After more than a century of close and friendly relations, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Germany and Turkey share a uniquely long and mostly fruitful history. With 3.5 million ethnic Turks living in Germany for decades, and more than 4.8 million German tourists visiting Turkey in 2011, the two countries are also bound by a “human factor,” creating a bond of multifaceted, cultural, human interconnectedness and diversity. In addition to the long history of friendly relations, Berlin plays a crucial role in Ankara’s aspirations to become a member of the European Union. This long-standing tradition of friendship and cooperation is mirrored by a multitude of strong ties in the fields of economics and politics.

According to the Center for Studies on Turkey, more than 700 German companies have branches in Turkey and approximately 80,000 Turco-German companies are doing business in Germany. In 2010, they employed more than 400,000 workers and generated about 36 billion euros. Because of its strategic location, Turkey plays a prominent role in German foreign policy, especially related to the Middle East and Caucasus, with their substantial energy resources...”

Excerpt from Mehmet Öcal, “An Enduring Friendship,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 4, No. 3, 2013: 28-33.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Öcal teaches international relations at Erciyes University in Turkey, where he heads the diplomatic history department. After studying political science, history and Oriental studies in Köln, Germany, he worked as a research assistant at the Center for Studies on Turkey (Zentrum für Türkeistudien) in Essen, Germany. In 2001, Öcal observed the first parliamentary elections in Kosovo as supervisor for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Öcal graduated from the University of Cologne and holds a doctorate from the University of Bonn.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.