Turkey Needs Germany, Germany Needs Turkey

The Suleymanie Mosque (Fatih District) in Istanbul, Turkey; the German Bundestag
iStock.com/MasterLu, iStock.com/katatonia82

Turkey Needs Germany, Germany Needs Turkey

These two nations need to get along, but they don’t.

The lead-up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum was a hotly contested one. Prior to the April 16 vote on the referendum in which Turks voted on whether to alter their constitution and grant even more power to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey lashed out at Germany for what it presumed were attempts to defeat the referendum. Turkey accused Germany of having a “double standard,” following Nazi procedures, supporting terrorism, and being part of a crusader alliance. But just a week after the ballots were counted and Erdoğan won the referendum, Turkey is again seeking German economic aid. “I think that the time to return to normality in the relationship has come,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek told Bild (Trumpet translation throughout).

Şimşek, whose primary responsibility is Turkey’s economy, related to Bild on April 24 that G-20 finance ministers in Washington already discussed ways to help the Turkish economy again. This also requires Germany’s help, added Şimşek. Turkey’s economy depends on Germany as its largest trading partner. Turkey’s economy cannot keep up with the rising unemployment rate due to the high immigration rate. Added to that, 2016 has been a very difficult year for Turkey; it survived a military coup and various terrorist attacks that significantly decreased tourism. Turkey knows it needs Germany.

The German media criticized Turkey’s rapid mood change and raised the question if Germany should still support a country that just a few weeks ago accused it of falling back into its Nazi past. But the reality is, as much as Turkey needs Germany, Germany also needs Turkey. Not only is it a crucial partner in the refugee crises, it is also a key player in the Middle East.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel explained to parliamentarians last March that despite the accusations, relationships with Turkey need to be upheld. “As difficult as all of this is, it cannot be in our interest that Turkey is further drifting away from Europe,” she said. Turkey temporarily stopped a majority of the refugees from storming the European coastline, but Europe needs an even stronger relationship with Turkey if it wants to solve the crisis in the Middle East.

Turkey is a strategically located partner in the Middle East, home of one of nato’s military air bases, and has much influence in other countries in the region. Germany relies on exports that traverse the Middle East and fears that the growing wars will ultimately drastically harm its economy. For this and other reasons, Germany seeks to be more involved in the region and needs Turkey’s help. There may be ups and downs, but in the long run, their interests are aligned.

The mutual dependency will lead to a strong, though short-lived, alliance as prophesied in Psalm 83. Both of them will team up with other key Arabic nations like Saudi Arabia against Iran, the chief sponsor of terrorism. To learn more about the prophesied alliances, order our free booklet The King of the South.