Turkish premier to meet German chancellor Thursday

Binali Yildirim, Angela Merkel to discuss bilateral relations, international issues in Berlin

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Berlin on Thursday, German government’s spokesman said on Monday.

“The prime ministers will exchange views on bilateral relations and international issues,” Steffen Seibert, the spokesman, said in a statement.

Both leaders are expected to hold a news conference following their meeting at the Chancellory.

The Turkish premier is also scheduled to attend Munich Security Conference on Friday and Saturday.

- Strained ties

Ties between Turkey and Germany were strained in recent years, as Turkish politicians blasted their German counterparts for not taking serious measures against outlawed groups and terrorist organizations such as FETO and PKK.

Both groups have a large network in Germany and carry out significant propaganda, recruitment and funding activities.

The arrest of around a dozen German citizens in Turkey, including a reporter, a translator, and a human rights activist, has also been a source of friction between Ankara and Berlin.

Despite repeated calls by German politicians for the release of their citizens, the Turkish government ruled out any political influence on the judiciary and advised them to wait for the decision of the court.

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