Erdoğan outfoxed Merkel on Germany visit - journalist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may not have achieved all of his aims during his visit to Germany last weekend, but he managed to extract important concessions from German Chancellor Angela Merkel while offering next to nothing in exchange, journalist Bobby Ghosh wrote for Bloomberg.

Erdoğan was met with full state honours when he touched down in Germany, and came away with the promise of a visit by a large economic delegation headed by German economy minister Peter Altmaier, besides Merkel’s agreement to attend a conference on Syria in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, Merkel’s concerns about the Turkish president’s dire human rights record and the damage deal to Turkish democracy under his administration were blankly ignored, said Ghosh, who added that Erdoğan instead accused Germany of harbouring terrorists belonging to the outlawed Gülen religious movement and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“The outcome reflects an uncomfortable reality for Merkel: As much as Erdogan needs German support — all the more now that his relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump has soured — she plainly doesn’t have much leverage over him,” said Ghosh.

“Germany needs Turkey to honor its agreement with the EU to prevent refugees from Syria and points east from arriving in Europe unchecked,” he added.