By Ayhan Simsek
Turkey and Germany have agreed to resume counterterrorism cooperation after recent talks between senior Turkish and German officials in Berlin, according to a senior Turkish official on Thursday.
"Both sides agreed to cooperate closely in the fields of counterterrorism, irregular migration, smuggling and narcotics," the official told Anadolu Agency anonymously, adding that Ankara and Berlin would also enhance the functioning of existing mechanisms for cooperation.
Muhterem Ince, Turkey's Interior Ministry undersecretary, and Emily Haber, Germany's state secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, co-chaired Wednesday's meeting in Berlin.
It was the first top-level gathering between Turkish and German security officials after months of political tensions between the two countries which also undermined cooperation over security and counterterrorism issues.
The Turkish delegation was due to hold further talks with German counterparts on Thursday.
Germany has long sought closer cooperation with Turkey against the threat of foreign fighter terrorists, and in combatting organized crime groups, human traffickers and smugglers.
Turkey, on the other hand, demands more serious measures against outlawed groups and terrorist organizations like FETO and PKK, which use Germany as a platform for their fund-raising, recruitment, and propaganda activities.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen are responsible for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that martyred 250 people and left 2,200 injured.
FETO loyalists have managed to organize a large network, including businesses, private schools, and media organizations in Germany, which is home to around 3 million Turkish immigrants.
Apart from FETO, the PKK also carries out significant activities in the country, and has nearly 14,000 followers among Germany's Kurdish immigrant population.
Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state since the mid-1980s, killing an estimated 40,000 people including women and children.
More than 1,200 have been killed since July 2015 alone, when the group resumed its armed campaign against the Turkish state following a fragile cease-fire.