Turkish prime minister recep tayyip erdogan called for more integration efforts at the opening of his country’s new embassy in berlin. "We want the turks in germany to speak german with love," erdogan said on tuesday evening. "In this sense, they must be dual language learners and participate more and more in life."At the same time, erdogan offered his country’s help in the eu financial crisis.
More than 1,400 guests attended the ceremony, including guido westerwelle (FDP), the minister of economics. After almost 70 years, turkey is once again represented in the capital’s historic embassy district. However, german-turkish relations are not free of tensions at present.
According to the redemanuscript, westerwelle spoke out in his grubwort for further rapprochement between turkey and the european union (eu). The stalemate in the accession negotiations for the last two years is not good for either side. A "new beginning" is to be made here in the coming year. Turkey has implemented many reforms. "Much remains to be done, but important stages have been completed," said westerwelle.
In a speech on european policy this evening, erdogan reaffirmed his country’s goal of joining the EU. "We are preparing to become a full member of the eu." To the question of whether turkey would be an eu member until 2023, he replied: "we won’t be held up that long, will we??"Erdogan, however, named the cyprus issue as a problem – turkey does not recognize the EU member cyprus.
The turkish head of government also confidently offered help in the euro crisis. "We are strengthening from day to day," he said. Turkey will make every contribution to overcome the euro crisis. His country will not be a burden for the EU. "We come to take on burden," erdogan said.
At the embassy opening, erdogan said that turks in germany should not only know turkish authors, "but also understand hegel, kant and goethe". Around 2.5 million people with turkish roots live in germany, and more than 100,000 people in berlin have turkish passports. Several groups, such as the minority alevis, had announced demonstrations against erdogan.
His political talks with chancellor angela merkel (CDU) this wednesday will focus on the situation in syria and the situation of syrian refugees. The federal government has so far been of the opinion that refugees can best be helped in the region. Berlin has provided over 50 million euros in humanitarian aid – mainly for refugees in syria itself, in jordan and in lebanon.
The kurdish problem is also a bone of contention between berlin and ankara. Erdogan accuses germany and france of not acting decisively enough against the kurdish PKK, which is classified as terrorist.
The chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the bundestag, ruprecht polenz (CDU), expects erdogan’s visit to berlin to send clear pro-european signals. What was needed was "a clear announcement that turkey is sticking to its reform course toward the eu and wants to give it new impetus," polenz told the "suddeutsche zeitung" (tuesday).
Federal minister of justice sabine leutheusser-schnarrenberger (FDP) expressed concern about freedom of speech and freedom of the press in turkey. There is progress here, the minister said in an interview with the deutsche presse-agentur (dpa) on tuesday at the start of a four-day trip to turkey.
International reports complain that twice as many journalists have been imprisoned in turkey recently than last year, the minister warned. "The rule of law must be able to withstand critical research and reporting. This is where its strength is shown."