Erdoğan walks away the winner of Germany visit - analysis

While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may not have received promises of visa-free access to the EU for Turks or the prospect of an improved customs union with the bloc, he walked away the clear winner from his state visit to Germany last week, Bloomberg wrote.

Erdoğan’s three-day state visit to Germany, his first since becoming president in 2014, was jam-packed with a state banquet, reviewing a military guard and opening a large mosque. The visit marked a thaw in relations between Ankara and Berlin, which had soured following the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey and Ankara’s crackdown on opposition that followed. 

During the visit, Erdoğan and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, would soon lead a large business delegation on a visit to Turkey while Merkel herself would travel to Istanbul for a conference on Syria that would also include the presidents of France and Russia, Bloomberg said.

What Erdoğan gave to Merkel in return, Bloomberg said, was negligible.

“The president largely ignored his hosts’ concerns about the state of democracy and human rights in Turkey, and instead accused Germany of harbouring spies and terrorists. He didn’t apologise for previously accusing Merkel of Nazi measures,” the article said, stressing that the outcome of the visit reflected the reality that Merkel plainly does not have much leverage over Erdoğan.

For Merkel, Bloomberg said,relying on Erdoğan to hold the line in the Syrian province of Idlib, where Turkey and Russia have an agreement to maintain a buffer zone in order to prevent a slaughter of civilians by forces loyal to President (Bashar) Assad” remains a priority over all else.