The foreign ministers of Turkey and Germany held a breakfast meeting in Berlin on Wednesday, the first meeting of government representatives since a diplomatic row about a controversial ban on Turkish officials campaigning in the country and the arrest of journalist DenizYücel. Foreign Minister MevlütÇavuşoğlu and German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel discussed the diplomatic relationship between the two countries, which has become increasingly strained in the recent days. The two foreign ministers expressed a common desire to lower tensions and normalize relations, while encouraging dialogue as not to damage their historical ties. Çavuşoğlu was in Germany to promote constitutional reform that would expand the powers of presidency and abolish the post of prime minister. Some 1.4 million Turks are eligible to vote in a referendum on the issue, which is scheduled for April 16. Gabriel said Wednesday, while warning Ankara that comparisons to Nazis in any row is a “red line that cannot be crossed”. Despite the differences on both sides, “there is no alternative to dialogue because that is the only way we can return step by step to a normal and friendly relationship”, he said. In a statement after the meeting, Gabriel said he addressed the referendum, campaigning by Turkish ministers in Germany, as well as the arrest of German-Turkish journalist DenizYücel, which he referred to as “wrong and inappropriate”. Turkey accuses Die Welt correspondent Yücel of links with the RedHack, a band of hackers known for their terror links, in addition to propaganda on behalf of the PKK terrorist group.
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