Erdogan expects Germany's permission to speak at mosque opening
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan awaits German authorities' answer to his application to make a speech at the opening ceremony of a mosque in Germany's northern city of Cologne during his diplomatic visit to Germany on Sep. 27-29, Turkish news outlet Diken said.
German police, suggesting a state of emergency to be declared in Berlin, is considering Erdoğan's visit as "the riskiest" visit since former U.S. president George W. Bush came to Germany in 2002, Diken wrote.
President Erdoğan wants to speak to Turkish community living in Germany at the opening ceremony of a mosque linked to DİTİB, according to Diken.
DİTİB is a Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, Germany's largest Islamic organisation, with a network of around 900 mosques and 800,000 members.
DİTİB was accused of its clerics spying on suspected supporters of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blamed for plotting a failed coup in June 2016. In January 2017, Germany’s chief federal prosecutor opened an investigation into possible spying by clerics sent by Ankara, Reuters reported.
President Erdoğan will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during his visit, and they are expected to discuss a range of issues including the arrests of several German citizens in Turkey, according to German state-run international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.