After having signed a treaty of peace and friendship with the Kingdom of Prussia in 1790, the Ottoman Empire intensified its military ties with Germany, especially during the reign of Abdülhamid II. The relationship between Germany and the Ottoman Empire was not restricted to being allies in World War I, the two countries also cooperated on several large scale investment projects, such as the construction of the Baghdad Railway.
In the aftermath of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in 1933, Turkey provided refuge to Germans of Jewish descent, left-wing and liberal academics and engineers, who fled their homeland. These intellectuals played an important role in the reorganization of universities and in the foundation of industrial plants and companies in Turkey. The commercial, economic and cultural ties between Turkey and Germany were further developed and intensified during the Cold War. Subsequently in 1960’s with the signing of the Labour Recruitment Agreement between Turkey and Germany, a great number of Turkish citizens immigrated to Germany.
Close to 3 million Turkish citizens living in Germany and German citizens of Turkish descent, an annual trade volume of 25 billion Euros, accession process of Turkey to the EU as well as tourism due to the 4 million German tourists visiting Turkey each year, are among the building blocks of our relations with Germany, one of our most important allies. In addition to the intense and institutionalized relations at the bilateral level, Germany is among our most significant partners in European security and political structures, including NATO, OSCE as well as the Council of Europe.
High-level visits between Turkey and Germany take place very frequently.
The President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian Wulff, visited Turkey on 18- 22 October 2010. This was the first visit of a German President to Turkey since President Johannes Rau’s visit in 5-8 April 2000. President Abdullah Gül paid a state visit to Germany on 18-21 September 2011.
The German Chancellor Merkel visited Turkey on 29- 30 March 2010, upon the invitation of the Prime Minister Erdoğan. During her visit, Chancellor Merkel was also received by President Gül. Prime Minister Erdoğan and Chancellor Merkel took part in the Turkish-German Economic Forum in Istanbul. Prime Minister Erdoğan visited Berlin on 8- 9 October 2010. On 9 October, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor chaired the meeting of delegations following their tête-à-tête. On 8 October 2010, Prime Minister Erdoğan and Chancellor Merkel watched together the qualification game between Turkey and Germany for the European Football Championship. Prime Minister Erdoğan paid his most recent visit to Germany on 27- 28 February 2011, on the occasion of the official opening ceremony of the CEBIT Fair in Hannover, where Turkey was the partner country.
Prime Minister Erdoğan also visited Germany on 1-2 November 2011 to attend the main event together with Chancellor Merkel for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Labour Agreement between Turkey and Germany.
In 2010 the German Foreign Minister Westerwelle visited Turkey on 6- 8 January, upon the invitation of the Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu. The German Foreign Minister paid a second visit to Turkey on 27- 28 July 2010. On 6 March 2010, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu and his German counterpart officially opened the “Turkish Chamber” at the Dresden State Art Collection.
Minister Westerwelle paid two visits Turkey on 1 July and 13-14 October 2011. Foreign Minister Davutoğlu visited Germany between 1-5 December 2011 to hold talks with his counterpart Minister Westerwelle and to demonstrate solidarity with the Turkish community living in Germany. He also attended the International Conference for Afghanistan in Bonn on 5 December 2011.
Foreign Minister Davutoğlu visited Germany to attend the 48th Munich Security Conference on 3-5 February 2012.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle paid a working visit to Turkey on 14-15 May 2012 to participate in the 14th Kronberg Talks Forum on “Europe, Turkey and Promoting and Strengthening the Mediterranean Cooperation”, organized with the contribution of Sabancı University and Bertelsmann Foundation and made a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Davutoğlu.