• Germany's news in English
 

Protesters greet Turkish PM in Berlin

Published: 31 Oct 2012 16:51 GMT+01:00

Erdogan, whose visit to Berlin was marred by Kurdish protests, told reporters after talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel that Turkey could not manage the influx on its own.

Around 1,800 people, according to police, demonstrated against Erdogan's visit in front of the Brandenburg Gate near Merkel's chancellery, condemning what they called human rights abuses including the jailing of hundreds of Kurdish opponents.

"We absolutely need the support and assistance of Germany," he said. "At a time when we're searching for global peace, this is of course a catastrophe and we have to stop it."

Merkel acknowledged the situation in Syria had become "a real burden" for Turkey and offered "humanitarian aid" to help cope with the tens of thousands fleeing the bloodshed.

"We feel responsible for the security of Turkey," Merkel said of Germany's NATO partner. She praised what she called Turkey's "restraint" in response to Turkish citizens killed by Syrian fire.

Erdogan's government, a one-time ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, fell out with Damascus after its deadly crackdown on popular dissent that erupted in March last year.

Turkey has since sheltered some 108,000 refugees fleeing the conflict, as well as the exiled Syrian opposition's military and political leadership.

Meanwhile Turkey has systematically retaliated against cross-border shelling since Syrian fire killed five Turks on October 3.

Erdogan and Merkel also discussed his accusation last month that Germany and France were obstructing Turkey's fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Ankara accuses the PKK of recruiting and fundraising abroad to wage battle on Turkish soil, and the separatists have ramped up attacks in recent months.

"I underlined once again that it is of great importance to Germany to be helpful everywhere in stopping terrorist activity, also by the PKK," Merkel said. "We want to step up this cooperation."

Erdogan sounded a more conciliatory note in Berlin, thanking Germany for its pledge of support in fighting "separatist terror organisations" and calling for "more intensive cooperation" including extraditing criminal suspects.

Erdogan reasserted Turkey's aim to join the EU, while Merkel acknowledged that her conservative CDU party had agreed to back "open-ended" negotiations between the bloc and Ankara but would prefer a "privileged partnership" with the mostly Muslim country.

"We've learned to live with our different positions and nevertheless develop good relations," Merkel said, insisting that the "EU is an honest negotiating partner".

Erdogan had said at the start of his visit late Tuesday that the EU must accept Turkey as a member at the latest by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the republic, "or lose Turkey" entirely.

Merkel noted that Turkey had seen its economy expand at an impressive clip, with 3.2-percent growth forecast this year. "We would wish for similar development in the EU," she said.

Germany and Turkey are linked by the around three million people of Turkish origin living here, most of them descendants of "guest workers" who arrived under a programme launched in the 1960s.

Erdogan's official reason for visiting Berlin was to open a new €30 million Turkish embassy building, one of Ankara's largest diplomatic representations worldwide.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:23 October 31, 2012 by sonriete
Maybe the Prime Minister of Turkey should acknowledge that women are equal to men in every way and that homophobia is evil in all it's forms or risk 'losing europe' entirely.

That is the opposite of what he has said so far.
05:09 November 1, 2012 by crunchy2k
I admire Merker...but there is apoint to just say no. Ask Iran to help.
05:16 November 1, 2012 by charmjacket
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
08:51 November 1, 2012 by Englishted
@charmjacket

I don't know who you are , but are you trying to set a record for the most breaches of terms on as many different subjects?

This is the fourth I have seen so far.

But it seems a little pointless to me.
02:56 November 4, 2012 by soros
Well, at least he didnt' come to open another mosque. And he didn't insult his hosts by calling on Turks to remain separate as a parallel culture, a Fifth Column. Could be progress.
Today's headlines
Steinmeier cancels trip to stay at Iran talks
Photo: DPA

Steinmeier cancels trip to stay at Iran talks

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has cancelled a planned trip Thursday to the Baltics in order to stay at nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, a German diplomat said. READ  

Uber complains to EU over national bans
Photo: DPA

Uber complains to EU over national bans

Uber has filed complaints with the EU against France, Germany and Spain as the popular taxi app hits back against efforts to ban it from Europe's streets, officials said Wednesday. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Haltern mourns its children lost in crash
People gather outside the St. Sixtus Church in Haltern on Wednesday evening. Photo: DPA

Haltern mourns its children lost in crash

Haltern's St. Sixtus church was full to overflowing on Wednesday evening, as people flocked to mourn the group of schoolchildren the town lost in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash. READ  

Minister wants to ID Schengen passengers
Photo: DPA

Minister wants to ID Schengen passengers

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière wants to introduce rules forcing airlines to ask all passengers for identification when travelling within the Schengen free-movement zone. READ  

Berlin refugee groups speak out against arson
The charred remains of the "House of 28 doors". Photo: DPA

Berlin refugee groups speak out against arson

Pro-refugee organizations in Berlin spoke out on Wednesday in defiance of an arson attack on an art installation and gathering-place in the early hours of Tuesday morning. READ  

Lufthansa promises long-term crash help
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr (r) and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann near the crash site on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa promises long-term crash help

On a visit to the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash site in France, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that the company will do its utmost to help relatives of victims and local people near the crash site. READ  

Draft fracking law meets strong opposition
An anti-fracking demonstration in front of the Chancellery on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Draft fracking law meets strong opposition

The cabinet agreed upon a draft law on “fracking” on Wednesday which will allow testing under stringent rules. But it is unclear whether the law will pass through the Bundestag (German parliament). READ  

Germany's best April Fools' jokes
It's that time of the year again...

Germany's best April Fools' jokes

While it might not be as prevalent as in English-speaking countries, there is still a rich tradition of “Aprilscherze” in Germany. Take a look inside for some of the best of 2015. READ  

April Fools' Day
April Fool! The Local's day in gags
In our April Fool's joke we reinstated the German monarchy. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

April Fool! The Local's day in gags

No, you weren’t going crazy when you scrolled through The Local this morning. Today, our network temporarily lost its marbles for April Fools' Day. So, as the clock strikes 12pm, it’s time for The Local to fess up and reveal which of our stories were red herrings. READ  

'Cannibal cop' gets 8-year sentence
Defendant Detlev Günzel at the court in Dresden on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

'Cannibal cop' gets 8-year sentence

A court sentenced a German former police officer to eight years and six months in jail Wednesday for killing a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,018
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd