Time To Stand Up to Erdogan? Germany Debates Tougher Stance Against Turkey

The recent arrest of German human rights activist Peter Steudtner marks a turning point in relations between Germany and Turkey. In an election year, the center-left Social Democrats want to see a tightening of sanctions, but Angela Merkel has declined. She wants to save the refugee deal the EU has made with Ankara.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Foto: ODD ANDERSEN/ AFP
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel as he prepared to depart on a government jet for Turkey in June. "We need a change in policy in order to prevent making a laughing stock of ourselves, even if it comes at a price," he said.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel as he prepared to depart on a government jet for Turkey in June. "We need a change in policy in order to prevent making a laughing stock of ourselves, even if it comes at a price," he said.

Foto: Gregor Fischer/ dpa
German human rights activist Peter Steudtner could face up to five years of pretrial detention despite the fact that there is zero evidence against him.

German human rights activist Peter Steudtner could face up to five years of pretrial detention despite the fact that there is zero evidence against him.

Foto: Privat/ dpa