Germany's Merkel urges calm in anti-Erdogan protests

German leader Angela Merkel has called for calm after a number of groups said they would protest against the Turkish leaders visit to the city of Koln.

Germany's Merkel urges calm in anti-Erdogan protests

World Bulletin / News Desk

Germany chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Germans protesting against the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Koln to behave in a 'measured' way towards him.

Speaking to 'Passauer Neue Presse', Merkel said she expected protesters to behave in an informed the appropriate manner when Erdogan visits Koln on Saturday. She also reminded readers that it is not the first time Erdogan has come to Germany, stating that he had spoken in Koln and Berlin before.

Koln police union chief Rainer Wendt expressed concern over Erdogan's visit, saying that his visit so soon after the Soma mine disaster in western Turkey, which claimed the lives of 301 miners, was void of symphathy.

Wendt told the Handelsblatt newspaper that he did not expect Erdogan to give a 'moderate' speech in Koln and would ultimately 'spill fuel on the fire'. He also claimed that Erdogan's visit would put German police in a dangerous position, leaving them no choice but to deal with violent protests.

Prime Minister Erdogan, who will be attending the tenth anniversary celebration of the founding of the European Democrats Union, which is known to share close ties with Turkey's ruling AK Party, is expected to address thousands of Turkish nationals, as well as Germans of Turkish origin, during his visit.

Turkish nationals who live in Germany will for the first time be able to vote in the Turkish presidential elections on August 10 from their local consulates. Erdogan is highly expected to run as a favorite candidate for the polls.

Germany's weekly Stern magazine claimed that as many as 30,000 members of the Turkish Alevi minority will gather in Koln to protest Erdogan's visit. The presence of Erogan supporters at the conference may also see tensions spark between the two groups.

The Turkish leader was greeted by Merkel on Thursday upon arriving in Germany before going ahead with an official meeting.

Last Mod: 22 Mayıs 2014, 16:06
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