Germany’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. The two leaders made a joint press conference after the meeting.
Speaking at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Merkel, President Erdoğan said: “Our close dialogue with Mrs. Merkel has significantly contributed to not only bilateral matters but also to the resolution of regional issues. Mrs. Merkel has never refrained from taking initiative and assuming responsibility in many issues extending from the prevention of the irregular migration originating from Syria to the delivery of humanitarian aid to the north of Syria.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany held a joint press conference following their bilateral meeting at Huber Villa in Istanbul.
“MRS. MERKEL HAS NEVER REFRAINED FROM TAKING INITIATIVE AND ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY”
Drawing attention to Chancellor Merkel’s sensible and solution-oriented approach throughout her term in office, President Erdoğan said: “Our close dialogue with Mrs. Merkel has significantly contributed to not only bilateral matters but also to the resolution of regional issues. Mrs. Merkel has never refrained from taking initiative and assuming responsibility in many issues extending from the prevention of the irregular migration originating from Syria to the delivery of humanitarian aid to the north of Syria. On behalf of myself and my nation, I thank Mrs. Merkel particularly for her sincere efforts for the resolution of the Syrian crisis.”
Describing the Turkey-EU relations as one of the other areas in which German Chancellor Merkel’s experience in government and diplomacy was felt, President Erdoğan said: “As Turkey, we will always be appreciating the positive contributions Mrs. Merkel has made despite all the obstacles and hardships raised in our path to full membership to the EU.”
“WE AIM TO INCREASE OUR BILATERAL TRADE VOLUME TO 50 BILLION DOLLARS”
Elaborating on the agenda of their bilateral meeting, President Erdoğan stated: “During our bilateral meeting today, we discussed issues on our agenda, particularly the bilateral relations. We have reaffirmed the importance we attach to improving the Turkey-EU relations. I have once again shared with my treasured friend our expectations about critical issues, especially the visa liberalization, updating the Customs Union, and renewing the March 18 Memorandum. We have exchanged views on the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. We aim to increase our bilateral trade volume to the level of 50 billion dollars as soon as possible. The Turkish community in Germany constitutes the most important social aspect our relations. They are our joint richness.”
“RACISM AND ANIMOSITY TOWARDS ISLAM REMAIN TO BE THE PRIMARY PROBLEMS AFFLICTING THE TURKISH COMMUNITY IN EUROPE”
Expressing his happiness over the close ties Mrs. Merkel has maintained with the Turkish community in Germany throughout her term in office, President Erdoğan said: “Racism, xenophobia and animosity towards Islam unfortunately remain to be the primary problems afflicting the Turkish community in Europe. It is of great importance that effective measures are taken against all perpetrators of attacks and insults as well as acts of animosity and discrimination. Eradicating the social roots of cultural racism will help the Turks to literally feel at home in Europe. Mrs. Merkel has always worked sincerely for the resolution of these problems. I wholeheartedly believe that her successor will also be working in a similar fashion. I am sure that Mrs. Chancellor will continue to make major contributions to the Turkish-German friendship in the period ahead as well.”