• 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
Gay marriage: Germany still says 'No'
A gay couple in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Gay marriage: Germany still says 'No'

Germany's cabinet on Wednesday approved a raft of draft measures to extend the rights of same-sex couples, but faced criticism for allowing only civil unions, not full gay marriage. READ  

Spectre of Greece haunts G7 Dresden meeting
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble welcomes his G7 colleagues to Dresden. Photo: DPA

Spectre of Greece haunts G7 Dresden meeting

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven wealthiest nations gathered in Dresden Thursday to discuss the global economy and tax evasion, but the Greek crisis was also high on everyone's minds. READ  

Cologne's giant bomb successfully defused
The bomb was burrowed deep in the ground. Photo: DPA

Cologne's giant bomb successfully defused

Bomb disposal teams have successfully made a 1,000-kilo explosive dropped during the Second World War safe, allowing 20,000 evacuated people to return to their homes. READ  

Cabinet revives plan to grab internet records
Anti-surveillance demonstrators in Berlin's Alexanderplatz in 2013. Photo: DPa

Cabinet revives plan to grab internet records

Germany's coalition government agreed on a draft law on Wednesday requiring telecoms companies to keep customers' data for up to ten weeks in case they are needed by security services, riling digital rights activists. READ  

The Local List
Germany's most idyllic swimming spots
Photo: Celsius / Wikimedia Commons.

Germany's most idyllic swimming spots

A European ranking released last week showed that Germany had one of the highest numbers of 'excellent' lakes and rivers for swimming, so The Local picked out some of the best places to take a dip in Germany this summer. READ  

Mediterranean migrant crisis
Germany to take most in refugee quota project
The German navy rescues refugees in the Mediterranean. Photo: DPA.

Germany to take most in refugee quota project

Germany found out on Wednesday it will have to take in the largest number of refugees under the European Commission's new quota system which aims to rehouse 60,000 people over the next two years. READ  

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe's best
A worker assembling motors at a Magdeburg factory. Photo: DPA

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe's best

Germany is behind only China and the USA as a destination for foreign investment, a study has shown. READ  

Merkel 'deceived' public on No-Spy treaty
Photo: DPA

Merkel 'deceived' public on No-Spy treaty

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government tricked the public into believing the USA was prepared to sign a so-called 'no-spy agreement' with Germany ahead of elections in 2013, a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung claimed on Wednesday. READ  

Forbes: Merkel still world's mightiest woman
Photo: DPA

Forbes: Merkel still world's mightiest woman

Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the Forbes list of the world's most powerful women for the fifth straight year but Hillary Clinton is snapping at her heels, the magazine said on Tuesday. READ  

German public shop with renewed confidence
People throng the halls of the Milaneo shopping centre in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

German public shop with renewed confidence

Consumer confidence in Germany is at its highest in 13.5 years, as the positive economic outlook and low inflation persuade consumers to open their purses, a poll found on Wednesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
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

6,693
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd