World Bulletin/News Desk
Thousands of jubilant Turks from different German states are prepared to welcome Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the German city of Cologne.
He is due to arrive later on Saturday to attend the 10th founding anniversary of the Union of European Turkish Democrats.
Citizens are waving Turkish, Palestinian and Azerbaijani flags, and chanting “Recep Tayyip Erdogan”, “Stand upright, don't bow,” and “Expatriates are with you.”
A huge crowd of people is waiting to enter the Lanxess Arena where Erdogan will speak, going through security checks as they come in.
Security concerns have arisen after the local government of Cologne granted permission for eight protests against Erdogan in the vicinity of the arena.
Erdogan had addressed 20,000 Turkish citizens at Cologne Arena eight years ago and he made another speech in Berlin recently.
On Wednesday, German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said Germany was not concerned over the Turkish prime minister’s visit and address to his supporters in Cologne.
The visit sparked debates as several politicians and groups are calling for Erdogan’s speeches to be canceled citing fears that they might lead to new divisions and tensions among immigrants in Germany.
On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Erdogan to act with “a sense of responsibility and sensitivity."Last Mod: 24 Mayıs 2014, 16:29