“Germany is Mercury, the United States is Mars.” This analogy was in an article I read many years ago. It explained the difference between the two countries. Mercury is the Roman god of commerce, also a symbol of rational reason. Mars, which is associated with the US, is the god of war. In other words, America is geo-politics, Germany is geo-economics. There is also China, which is walking around like Saturn, named not after the gods but after the Titans, but that is a topic for another article. The subject of this article is our relations with the geo-economic giant Germany, which are going through an extraordinary period.
We have been going through something with Germany lately, but I can’t quite figure out what it is. Are we in the middle of a deep crisis or are we two strong allies with a long history? Our preference is for the latter, but the picture looks more like the former.
This is not our first crisis with Germany. We have had similar crises with Germany before, as we have with many other countries. Every crisis is important, but crises with Germany are of particular importance for us in terms of scope and impact. Since Germany is one of the world’s leading geo-economic actors, it is useful to watch the process with this country more carefully.
The economy we interact with the most in the world is the German economy. Because;
– Germany ranks first for us in terms of economic relations. It has been Turkey’s largest and most stable export market in foreign trade for years. We sell the most goods to this country. It was also in the first place in imports, but in recent years it has become our third largest partner after Russia and China. Last year, we sold 21 billion dollars worth of goods to Germany and imported 24 billion dollars. So in total, we have a more balanced trade than China and Russia. It is not a country where we have big deficits in bilateral trade. Whereas this is not the case with China and Russia, there is an imbalance that is quite unfavorable to us. In short, our trade with Germany is voluminous, stable and balanced. Isn’t this an ideal trade relationship?
– For many years, Germany has been among the top countries sending the highest number of tourists to Turkey. In the first nine months of this year, 4.9 million German citizens visited Turkey. In this respect, Germany ranks second after Russia. It is an indispensable source for many of our tourism facilities.
– Although Germany does not rank first in terms of foreign direct investment, it is one of the five countries from which we attract the most investment. Thousands of German companies have invested in Turkey and created employment.
– German institutions play an important role in financing our current account deficit and rolling over our debts. German banks have always been active as creditors or arrangers in the foreign borrowing of Turkish companies, banks and the Treasury. Since our own savings were not enough to finance our growth, we were able to grow by borrowing the savings of other economies, including the Germans.
– Germany has always had a very special importance for us due to the defense cooperation within NATO, the relations within the framework of the EU process and the more than 3 million Turkish citizens living in Germany.
Crises between Germany and Turkey will negatively affect both countries economically. As the recent comments in German newspapers suggest, it is in Germany’s interest to maintain dialogue and deepen relations with Turkey. However, given the enormous size of the German economy and Turkey’s share in it, we are more likely to be negatively affected.