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Turkish and German foreign ministers in talks to ease tensions

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By Philip Andrew Churm
Sigmar Gabriel and Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu meet in Germany
Sigmar Gabriel and Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu meet in Germany

Foreign ministers from Germany and Turkey have met in Germany in the hope of improving relations between the two countries following a series of conflicts over the past year.

Germany’s Sigmar Gabriel welcomed Turkey’s Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in his hometown of Goslar.

It follows concerns over the jailing of several German or German-Turkish nationals on terror-related charges.

At a press conference Mr Çavuşoğlu said: "We have a difference of opinion on certain subjects. We have some problems. In fact, there was an escalation, there was tension.  But as two foreign ministers, we believe we can overcome this through dialogue."

Mr Gabriel also gave his views on the meeting: "He now comes to us and in the meantime a lot has happened," he said.

"We talked about economic relations and there have been decisions within the Turkish justice that have led to the fact that people who were detained in Turkey or were not allowed to leave Turkey have now been released or were allowed to leave Turkey again.

"And today we, of course, have picked up on everything we want to do together in the upcoming weeks and months."

Last month Turkish authorites released Meşale Tolu, a German journalist who had been imprisoned on terrorism charges.

Turkish authorities have also beem criticised for the imprisonment of Deniz Yücel an outspoken critic of President Erdoğan.