• Germany's news in English

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".

Story continues below…

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.


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

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
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd