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Saturday, December 2, 2023

in the context of the Israel-Hamas war, a visit by the Turkish president under tension

The Turkish president’s visits to Germany have never been easy. But this time, the tension is palpable. Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives this Friday afternoon in Berlin. Chancellor Scholz’s invitation dates back to the spring after the re-election of the Turkish head of state. After his anti-Israeli positions, this visit of a few hours arouses controversy and apprehension.

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With our correspondent in Berlin, Pascal Thibaut

Relationship: it’s complicated »: the daily Tagszeitung publishes a front page photo this Friday morning with Chancellor Scholz and Turkish President Erdogan with a wink to Facebook. The Jewish community, Kurdish organizations, intellectuals and human rights defenders protested against the visit of the man who has just described Israel as ” terrorist state » and sides with Hamas.

The German government replies that we do not choose our interlocutors. The visit reduced to a minimum: a meeting with President Steinmeier and a dinner with Chancellor Scholz took place under tension. Erdogan’s statements on Israel and Hamas make compromise almost impossible.

But Turkey remains an important interlocutor on other issues, starting with migration issues. The majority of migrants arriving in Germany pass through Turkey. An improvement in the pact between the European Union and Ankara on these issues is important for Berlin. Erdogan could use his visit to criticize Westerners accused of too one-sided support for the benefit of Israel.

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