World Bulletin/News Desk
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will arrive in Turkey on Sunday.
Merkel will visit Ataturk's Mausoleum in Ankara, and initially be greeted by President Abdullah Gul. Merkel will then meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
She is also expected to stop at Gaziantep, and at Kahramanmaras to visit German soldiers serving there while working on the Patriot.
It has also been indicated that Merkel will visit Capadocia, which is of importance to the Christian world.
Undoubtedly one of the most important items on the agenda of Merkel’s Turkey visit will be the problems faced by the 2.5 million Turkish citizens residing in Germany.
According to reports in the Turkish media, the dossier that will be provided to Angela Merkel on this topic will include 6 headings.
According to the information received, the headings in the file are as follows:
Family Reunifications: The removal of the “language test” requirement mandated by Germany regarding family reunifications will be requested. Germany is establishing the requirement that spouses and/or children in Turkey know German in order to receive a residence permit from Germany.
Dual Citizenship: While European Union (EU) member countries recognize the right of Turkish citizens to dual citizenship, Germany does not recognize Turkish citizens’ right to dual citizenship.
The granting of the right to dual citizenship to Turkish citizens, as it is granted to American, Japanese, and South Korean citizens, will also be brought up.
The Option Model: It has become required that Turkish children born in Germany must choose either German or Turkish citizenship when they are between 18 and 23 years of age. The removal of this law, the implementation of which will begin in 2013, will be requested.
The rise in racist attacks: It will be asked that measures be taken toward the prevention of the increase in recent years in attacks by the extreme right and racists against Turkish citizens especially.
Children removed from their families: The issue of Turkish children removed from their families’ care through Youth Welfare Offices will also be brought to the table.
While the removal of children by Youth Welfare Offices from their families due to subjective reasons will be addressed, it will also be asked that the detachment of the children from Turkish culture and traditions be prevented.
Voting: A request will be made that the 2.5 million Turkish citizens in Germany be ensured the possibility of voting, especially in the 2014 presidential elections.
There will be discussions about permitting citizens to vote at consulates or non-consular locations, and about providing security on voting day.
Reports in the Turkish media indicate that Turkey will also ask for the extradition of Turkish criminals serving time in Germany.
Among the most critical topics on the agenda is counter-terrorism cooperation. Erdogan will ask Merkel for effective and instant counter-terrorism intelligence sharing. Erdogan will emphasize the need for such cooperation by bringing up the February 1 attack on the US Embassy in Ankara by Ecevit Sanli who resided in Germany for years.
Merkel wants momentum in EU talks
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she was sceptical about Turkey's European Union membership bid, but that she favoured opening discussions in a new policy area or "chapter" with Ankara to bring fresh momentum.
Merkel sets off on a two-day visit to Ankara on Sunday, and her remarks, in her regular weekly video message, follow comments by Socialist French President Francois Hollande last week that he was ready to unblock talks with Turkey on the chapter dealing with help for EU regions.
"I think a long negotiating path lies ahead of us. Although I am sceptical, I agreed with the continuation of membership discussions. We are engaging in these with an open result," Merkel said.
"In recent times, negotiations stalled somewhat and I am in favour of opening a new chapter in order to move forward."
Turkey has completed only one of 35 policy "chapters" every accession candidate must conclude to join. All but 13 are blocked and the European Commission says Ankara does not yet meet EU standards on human rights and freedom of speech.
Merkel personally favours a "privileged partnership" for Turkey with the EU in place of full membership.
Turkey has complained at the lack of support given to its EU membership bid by Germany, and also that the negotiations are being conducted with an open result in mind.
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