Turkey will strengthen observation posts in Idlib, Erdogan says

Larry Hoffman
October 3, 2018

Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the "racism" suffered by Mesut Ozil must never be repeated after the Arsenal star was forced to retire from the Germany national team. "We are leaving painful terms in the recent past with Germany behind", Erdogan said in a Twitter post.

In General, Erdogan praised the visit to Germany as "useful for bilateral relations".

Despite the tensions between Turkey and the U.S. over the Brunson case, Erdogan said, "We hope to develop political and economic relations with the USA under a strategic partnership perspective".

He noted that Turkey lifted the state of emergency following the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections in the country.

Erdogan has already jumped to the defence of the 29-year-old and has now called for an end to the persecution suffered by the playmaker.

"The visit's first achievement is that it took place".

It exacerbated tensions between the two countries, with many German citizens being held in Turkey on political charges as part of Erdogan's clamp down on free speech.

Dispensing with the usual diplomatic pleasantries, Mr Steinmeier expressed concern over Germans, union activists, lawyers, journalists and politicians jailed in Turkey, telling Mr Erdogan: "We can not simply gloss over this issue".

Erdogan was in Germany for a visit aimed at reducing tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

"We are in favor of a four-way meeting with the presidents of Turkey, Russia and France and myself because the situation (in Syria) is still fragile", Merkel told reporters after talks with Erdogan.

Almut Moller, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the outcome was "far away from a detente" with the deterioration in Turkey's rule of law and human rights still of "great concern to Berlin".

He had breakfast with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Saturday.

But he expressed satisfaction that "both sides made a cautious attempt at rapprochement".

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