“The relationship between Turkey and Germany, with its positive and negative sides, will go on,” Merkel told reporters at a joint news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the steps of Istanbul’s Dolmabache Palace.
“Everybody knows the security and independence of both our countries depends on each other.”
“We want to prevent human trafficking. It is essential … for the EU to support Turkey in this regard,” she said.
Merkel stressed that Turkey and Germany always have common interests, and added that this would be how the next federal government will see it.
Erdogan said Turkey would “always remember the good faith and the contribution” Merkel made towards maintaining ties with Turkey.
“From prevention of irregular migration from Syria, to dispatching humanitarian aid to northern Syria, on many topics Merkel did not abstain from taking the initiative and taking responsibility,” Erdogan said.
Merkel, who led Germany for 16 years, and Erdogan, who has led Turkey for 19 years, are perhaps the most seasoned political leaders in the region. At times, Merkel has pushed for maintaining ties with Turkey despite pressure at home over contentious issues such as migration and human rights.
Merkel is preparing to leave active politics later this year, but she will remain in her post until a new coalition government is formed.
Her Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) narrowly lost the general elections late last month.