Franco-German approaches towards European diplomacy on Turkey

Turkey due to its geo-strategic location, its many economic and personal links to EU member states remains a vital ally for Europe. Security coordination over Syria, migration management, trade relations as well as a significant population of Turkish origin in many member states makes maintaining a relationship with Turkey a must for the EU. At the same time the continued authoritarianization of the country, as well its military engagement in conflicts spanning from Libya to Naghorno-Karabakh often run counter to maintaining a strong partnership with Ankara.

While the election of Joe Biden as the next American president raises some expectations of increased pressures to reign in Turkey again, it is highly likely that Turkey will remain first and foremost a challenge (and/or opportunity) Europe has to deal with. Ankara’s preferred mode of operation is however to divide member states, dealing with them on bilateral terms rather than on EU basis.

Recent discussions among EU member states over possible sanctions against Turkey for its continued activities in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea have shown a widening gap between German and French approaches vis-à-vis Turkey. With this dossier we aim to focus to some French and German perspectives on Turkey in order to contribute to the dialogue for a more coordinated European approach.