German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says a German-led initiative for the EU to push anti-Turkey sentiment failed to gain much traction. The statement comes amid strained ties between Ankara and Berlin.

Relations between Berlin and Ankara have deteriorated sharply, particularly since a failed coup over a year ago. Photo composite shows German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (L) and Turkeys Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik.
Relations between Berlin and Ankara have deteriorated sharply, particularly since a failed coup over a year ago. Photo composite shows German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (L) and Turkeys Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik. (AFP)

A call for EU countries to back Germany to pressure Turkey through economic measures failed to grab much support, said Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Sunday.

Speaking at an open event in Berlin, the German minister recalled that the government had sought support from EU countries against Turkey.

"Every country in Europe does not think like us, and some countries say, 'Let us continue our cooperation with Turkey as in the past.'

We think differently on this issue," Gabriel said.

Last month, the German government announced several economic measures in an attempt to increase pressure on Ankara, which were focused on investments and tourism.

Berlin also asked for support from its EU partners to minimise pre-accession funds and European Investment Bank credits available for Turkish institutions.

Strained ties

Ties between Ankara and Berlin have been strained in recent months as Turkish leaders accused Germany of not showing strong solidarity with Turkey after the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt.

Ankara has also accused the German authorities of turning a blind eye to the activities of outlawed groups and terrorist organisations.

German authorities have turned down extradition requests by Ankara to arrest leading FETO figures and argued that Turkey should first provide legally sound evidence.

FETO is the acronym Turkey uses for what it calls the Fetullah (Gulen) Terror Organisation, which Turkey accuses of organising the attempted coup.

Since the coup attempt, nearly 4,000 FETO suspects have come to Germany from Turkey and other countries, according to Turkish media reports.

Source: AA