• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Protesters greet Turkish PM in Berlin

The Local · 31 Oct 2012, 16:51

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


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
VW bosses forced to pay back private jet costs

Bosses at troubled German auto giant Volkswagen have been forced to pay the company back millions of euros for flights on its private jets, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

Germany arrests Marxist militant 'leader'
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / DPA / AFP file picture

A radical Marxist suspected of belonging to a left-wing extremist group accused of terrorism by Turkey has been arrested in Germany, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Afghan teen arrested over German murder-rape
Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / DPA / AFP file picture

A teenage Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of a 19-year-old female student in Germany, police and prosecutors said Saturday.

Nazi POW leaves estate to 'kind' Scottish village
The former German soldier stayed on to work in the Perthshire village for a time after the war. Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP file picture

A former Nazi prisoner of war has left his entire estate in his will to a small village in Scotland to show his appreciation for the kindness he received there during his captivity.

US tries to block Chinese purchase of Aixtron
Photo: Oliver Berg / DPA / AFP

US President Barack Obama on Friday moved to block a Chinese company's purchase of German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron by rejecting the inclusion of Aixtron's US business in the deal.

Merkel to chart 2017 election battle at party congress
Photo: Tobias Schwarz / AFP

After Donald Trump's shock victory, Francois Hollande's decision not to seek re-election and populism on the rise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is next up on the campaign podium to set out her strategy for winning in 2017 polls.

Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,552
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd