Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday he was pleased with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's remarks on future Turkish schools in Germany.
Anadolu news agency reported, Erdogan said Monday the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and he discussed topics regarding Turkish citizens living in Germany and their integration to the German society.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Merkel in Ankara, Erdogan said, the German High School, Austrian High School, and Istanbul High School for Boys provide education in the German language. It is possible to receive education in the German language at all Anatolia High Schools and other high schools all across Turkey. Teaching German language in Turkey began decades ago. I have been very happy to hear from Ms. Merkel that Germany will take similar steps to provide Turkish lessons in identical structures in Germany (in the future).
Erdogan's comments came after Angela Merkel assured Turkey that similar arrangements would take place in Germany regarding schools that will provide education in the Turkish language.
Responding to Turkey's call, Merkel said they agreed in principle with Turkish Premier Erdogan for the opening of Turkish schools in Germany, noting that this should not be pretext of not learning German for Turkish nationals in her country.
She insisted they did not aim to assimilate Turks but to help them "integrate" into German society.
Ms. Angela Merkel came to Turkey for the first time since the general elections in Germany in September. Her most latest visit to Turkey took place four years ago, Erdogan said.
We shared notions on the responsibility of the two sides (Turkey and Germany) so that Turkish citizens can adapt to the German society while preserving their own culture, Erdogan said.
We expect steps from Germany similar to those taken by Turkey in easing relations and displaying a constructive role. I have been deeply pleased to witness an identical approach from Ms. Angela Merkel, Erdogan said.
As the prime ministers of two friendly and allied countries we had a very fruitful meeting on Monday. We exchanged view points on all regional and international issues pertaining to our two countries. We had a chance to discuss political, military, commercial, and cultural steps to be taken so as to develop mutual relations, Erdogan said.
Our bilateral relations display a friendly trend and we have noticed that relations are developing in all fields. We had a chance to discuss what we can do to further promote Turkish-German relations, Erdogan said.
Our relations with the European Union (EU) also came up during our talks with Ms. Merkel. Turkey is moving on the path to the EU with strong steps. During Germany's rotating EU presidency, three chapters were opened for negotiations. Every one knows Germany's support to Turkey for the opening of the chapter on environment for negotiations, Erdogan said.
By taking advantage of deep historical relations between Turkey and Germany, Germany can be a role model to other EU members. I believe that the Turkish Parliament will approve, on Tuesday, the establishment of a Turkish-German University. We have completed all infrastructure works for the University to be established on the Anatolian side of Istanbul (Beykoz), Erdogan noted.