German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, says on Thursday, she wanted to improve economic ties with Turkey but would raise human rights with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Iran press/Europ: Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced criticism over press freedom in his country as he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday, according to Deutsche Welle website.

"I consider the visit very important, because when there are differences (in Ankara and Berlin's opinion), a personal meeting is vital to resolve them," Merkel said at a delayed and keenly awaited joint press conference.

Erdogan for his part glossed over the criticism, insisting that the fundamental point was respect for the Turkish judiciary.

The chancellor also emphasized the importance of maintaining a good relationship with Turkey, and in particular Germany's interests in "an economically stable Turkey." 

Ties with Germany have deteriorated following a failed coup attempt in Turkey two years ago, to which Ankara has reacted with draconian measures, including jailing journalists, soldiers and public servants, among them several German citizens.


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Germany's minister of state for Europe at the Foreign Ministry, Michael Roth, called on Erdogan to halt the current political trend toward authoritarianism in Turkey.

"Our expectations are clear: the release of the German people who have been arrested for political reasons, and at last some movement toward democracy and the rule of law," he said.

Both Merkel and Roth rejected the idea of Germany providing financial help to the struggling Turkish economy, with Roth stating that many German companies would invest in Turkey again if the country returned to democratic and constitutional principles.

Erdogan's visit, began on Thursday and ends on Saturday after the opening of a mosque in Cologne.

As Europe tries to resolve the discrepancies with turkey, the US getting more aggressive on Ankara.

The refusal of the United States to extradite US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen to face trial in Turkey is one of several sore points that have plagued a once-strong bilateral relationship.



Turkey accuses Gulen of masterminding a military coup attempt in July 2016. Gulen denies the accusation.


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On the other hand,Tensions between the two countries have also risen due to an Izmir court’s refusal to release the US missionary Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in October of 2016 for reportedly playing a role in that year’s failed coup attempt.

Washington has introduced sanctions against members of the Turkish government, citing the case and insisting that the pastor is innocent.


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Erdogan says the U.S. pastor case is not a successful plan to collapse Turkey


Brunson was arrested in December 2016 and later indicted on charges of having links with the (PKK) 



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Brunson was arrested in December 2016 and later indicted on charges of having links with the (PKK) 
Brunson was arrested in December 2016 and later indicted on charges of having links with the (PKK)