Erdogan's visit not indicating normalisation- German Pres Steinmeier
Turkey's President Recep Erdoğan's two-day Germany visit has begun but German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the visit would not mean normalisation of the bilateral relations, Deutsche Welle reported on Thursday.
“This visit isn’t a sign of normalisation,” Erdogan’s host, Steinmeier, told the RND newspaper group. “But it could be the start of it. After the trauma of the 2016 coup attempt, we expect a return to the rule of law.”
Starting Thursday, Turkey’s president hopes to hit the reset button on Turkish-German relations in an effort to alleviate his country’s growing diplomatic and economic woes.
However, Erdogan was on the top of the critics in the German parliament as he begins his first state visit as Turkey’s president to Germany. "The welcome is likely to be drowned out by verbal fusillades from German politicians and protesters alike," Bloomberg said.
In Berlin and Cologne — where Erdogan will inaugurate a mosque — tens of thousands are expected to take the streets against Erdoğan.
Hours before Erdogan landed, demonstrators gathered at the airport, protesting over the lack of press freedom in Turkey, where dozens of critical journalists are jailed. Others were waiting near his hotel, Reuters said.
Referring to the demonstrations, Steinmeier said peaceful protests are a sign of Germany's freedom of assembly.
Turkey is in economic crisis, and Germany relies on Turkey to help contain a Syrian migrant crisis beyond Europe’s borders, both sides want to put their differences aside.