Germany’s New Government Coalition: A Red, Yellow or Green Light for German-Turkish Relations?

Eliamep policy paper (#90, December 2021) on what the new German SPD/Greens/FDP government could mean for Turkey, German-Turkish and EU-Turkey relations. What are the positions stated in the coalition agreement, what has the new foreign minister Annalena Baerbock so far said about Turkey and how could the relations develop in the coming months/years?

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On 26 September 2021, the SPD won the national elections (25.7%) under its candidate for chancellor, Olaf Scholz. The CDU, in government since 2005, ended up in second place (24.1%), followed by the Greens (14.8%), the FDP (11.5%), the AfD (10.3%) and “Die Linke” (4.9%). Shortly after the elections, it became clear that the SPD would form a government with the Greens and the FDP. What does this new government mean for Germany-Turkey relations? What views does the coalition and its foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, have on Turkey? While the rhetoric is explicit, what will the Realpolitik look like?

What becomes obvious is this: if the status quo in Turkey continues, relations between the two nations will become more tense, especially since Greens and FDP voters would expect this as part of a “value-based” foreign policy. If, however, there is a change in Turkey towards a reformist government, then the new German government would be more supportive of Turkey’s EU endeavors than at any time since 2005. The key word here is “if”.

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