Germany still backs EU-Turkey entry talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that Germany still backs negotiations between the European Union and Turkey, after tensions spiked between the two capitals amid Ankara's crackdown on anti-government protests.

Merkel said in a speech to German and Turkish business leaders that Berlin remained committed to the membership process of Turkey's entry to the EU, as per the principle of "Pacta sunt servanda" ("agreements must be kept").

But Germany was also waiting for progress from the Turkish side, she told members of the Turkish-German Chamber of Trade and Industry.

Berlin last week blocked a plan to reopen Turkey-EU membership negotiations amid outrage over Ankara's massive crackdown on a wave of anti-government protests.

But Germany sought at a foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg Monday to overcome a division with most of its European Union partners over reopening Turkey's stalled bid to join the bloc, a diplomatic source said.

Merkel called for dialogue between Germany and Turkey that was "open and in good faith".

Germany, the biggest EU economy, is home to around three million people with Turkish roots, and is also Turkey's biggest trading partner.