Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey and Germany have an interest in a new start in the bilateral relationship as both countries pass through a time full of challenges.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gestures during his meeting with Ankara representatives of national press at the Ankara Palas State Guesthouse in Ankara, Turkey on January 3, 2018.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gestures during his meeting with Ankara representatives of national press at the Ankara Palas State Guesthouse in Ankara, Turkey on January 3, 2018. (AA)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Friday for a fresh start in his country's rocky relationship with Germany, holding out the prospect of closer economic cooperation, particularly in transport and energy, if ties improved.

In a column written for the Funke media group of newspapers for publication on Friday ahead of a meeting with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel, Cavusoglu called for an end to the "current crisis spiral in our relationship".

"Both sides have an interest in a new start in the bilateral relationship as we live in a time full of challenges," he wrote. 

"It is not the time for bullhorn diplomacy."

Cavusoglu said Germany needed to develop a more "empathetic" tone in its dealings with Turkey. Berlin did not seem to fully understand the "trauma" caused by a failed coup attempt in 2016.

Last month, Gabriel said Turkey's decision to release a sixth German citizen from jail gave hope that relations between the two NATO allies could improve after plumbing new lows following the coup attempt.

German politicians have been outspoken critics of Turkey’s security crackdown since the last year coup attempt. Ankara has criticised Berlin for not handing over asylum seekers it accuses of involvement in the failed coup.

Cavusoglu said an improved relationship could mean that the two countries could work more closely in areas including security and trade.

He said trade between Germany and Turkey amounted to $209.91 billion (174 billion euros) in the last five years, with major opportunities in the coming decade from big infrastructure projects, in particular in transport and renewable energy.

He stressed the importance of Turkey's role in stemming a wave of migrants to Germany under a deal with the European Union in 2016 and said he hoped that the EU would live up to its commitments to make it easier for Turkish nationals to get visas in return.

Source: Reuters