Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. From the very beginning, their positions in the Middle East clashed. During the first visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Germany, after almost four years, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized Israel's right to self-defense.
Scholz pointed out that Germany is at the same time one of the biggest proponents of humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza. Scholz said that "it is no secret" that "we have partly very different perspectives on the current conflict".
Scholz said at a press conference that he and Erdogan share "concern about the conflagration in the Middle East." "Every life has equal value," added the German chancellor. He also pointed out that "the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population" worries the German government.
Now it is important to consider how "further escalations in the region" can be prevented. Erdogan criticized Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip in the German Chancellor's office. "We are talking about 13,000 children, women, old people who were killed," Erdogan said and pointed out that Gaza is almost gone.
"Everything has been razed to the ground," Erdogan emphasized. Although "everyone" is currently talking about Hamas, the military power of the radical-Islamic Palestinian organization is not comparable to that of Israel.
In addition to Israel, Hamas is also considered a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Germany and other countries.
The Turkish president also called for a humanitarian truce in the war between Hamas and Israel. If Germany and Turkey could achieve such a truce together, there would be a chance to save the region from this "ring of fire".
During the conversation with Erdogan, Federal Chancellor Scholz emphasized the need to speed up the process of returning asylum seekers from Turkey who do not have the right to stay in Germany. After the dinner at the Chancellor's Office, it was learned from a source in the government that the chancellor pointed out that a "solid mechanism" was needed for this.
Both welcomed the intensive work within the newly established bilateral working group of internal affairs bodies and authorized it to reach a mutually agreed upon conclusion as soon as possible. They also agreed to speed up the expansion of imam training in Germany in order to gradually end the sending of imams from Turkey.
Scholz promised Erdogan support in rebuilding educational institutions after the devastating earthquake in February this year, in which tens of thousands of people lost their lives. Scholz and Erdogan agreed that "Russia is still urgently called" to end the war of aggression against Ukraine. The chancellor also called on Turkey to ratify Sweden's accession to NATO.