News / Europe

Germany's Merkel Makes Some Headway on Trip to Turkey

TEXT SIZE - +
Dorian Jones

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Turkey for an official visit overshadowed by disagreements over Iran's nuclear ambitions and Ankara's plans to join the 27-member European Union.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel began her trip by presenting her Turkish counterpart, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a model of a white dove of peace.  A diplomatic move considering a number of issues she faced in Ankara.

Mr. Erdogan and the German chancellor discussed their different approaches to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Mr. Erdogan says Turkey's view is that sanctions are not a healthy path and the best route with Iran is diplomacy.  He said there are already nuclear weapons in the region.

Turkey is a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and Mr. Erdogan said it had not yet reached a firm decision on how it would vote on a U.S.-backed sanctions resolution.  

Ms. Merkel urged NATO ally Ankara to be ready to support the imposition of sanctions through the United Nations unless Iran shows transparency to assure the international community that it has no ambitions for nuclear weapons.  She said the United States and the European Union be would happy if Turkey votes for the Iran issue in April at the United Nations.

The leaders also discussed Turkey joining the European Union.  

Ms. Merkel has voiced opposition to Turkey's E.U. bid, but said her country would continue to support the Turkey accession process.  The chancellor had angered Ankara by calling for a so-called privileged partnership for Turkey, instead of membership.  Mr. Erdogan dismisses that proposal out of hand.

Since E.U. membership talks began in 2005, negotiations on Turkey's ascension into the European Union also have been frozen because of Turkey's refusal to allow ships and planes from Cyprus to enter its ports and airspace.  The European Union says Ankara must open its airspace to EU members if it wants to get closer to membership itself.

In return, Turkey insists on the lifting of what it says is the unofficial trade embargo on the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north of the island, which was divided into a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north following Turkey's 1974 invasion.

Ms. Merkel said she plans to continue discussing the question of Cyprus with Turkey, saying a resolution "is in all our interests."   

After their meeting, Mr. Erdogan announced an apparent breakthrough in a bilateral issue.

Tomorrow in parliament we pass legislation for a German-speaking university.  We have many German speaking schools, he said.  It is important for youth to speak German and I am glad to say Chancellor Merkel now shares our point of view for similar Turkish schools in Germany.

Germany is Turkey's biggest trading partner, and nearly three million Turks live in Germany.

Mr. Erdogan asked for Ms. Merkel's support for the establishment of Turkish-language schools in Germany, reciprocating the existence of several German-speaking schools in Turkey.  The long-standing proposal has annoyed German authorities who have stressed the need for integrating millions of Turkish-origin immigrants into German society, but Ms. Merkel appeared to have softened her stance.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid