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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a meeting with foreign diplomats in Istanbul, Turkey March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

(reuters_tickers)

BERLIN (Reuters) - German and Turkish foreign ministers agreed that they want bilateral relations to return to normal after a deterioration in the last week or so, Sigmar Gabriel told reporters on Wednesday after talks with his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

"Whatever differences and arguments we have, there is no alternative to talks because (only) then is there a possibility of returning, step-by step, to normalised and friendly relations between Germany and Turkey," said Gabriel.

Already tense relations between the NATO allies have deteriorated in the last week since the arrest of a German-Turkish journalist in Turkey. Local German authorities have annoyed Ankara by making it difficult for Turkish ministers to hold campaign events in Germany to support President Tayyip Erdogan's bid for new powers in a referendum next month.

Gabriel said, however that there were limits "that may not be overstepped and that includes comparisons with Nazi Germany".

"Good relations are important because things are so tense now ... returning to normality is what my Turkish colleague and I want," added Gabriel.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Madeline Chambers; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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