Turkey’s Recep Erdoğan’s first state visit to Germany since becoming president in 2014 comes amidst increased tensions between the two countries. Many politicians and journalists have made it clear they will not be extending a warm welcome. Maximilian Popp, Der Spiegel’s Turkey correspondent, discusses the hopes and scepticism surrounding Erdoğan’s visit.
Popp sees clear objectives from the Turkish side: “they want to bring up the questions of economic support, about an enlargement of the customs union, maybe some support of Germany for the Turkish economy which is in trouble for quite a while.” He hopes German politicians address human rights concerns in Turkey, like the political imprisonment of several German citizens and thousands of Turkish nationals.
Popp also discusses the case of Turkish journalist Can Dündar, who fled Turkey in 2016 after being accused of treason. Dündar has been living in exile Berlin for two years, but his wife is still in Turkey and had her passport revoked after her husband published a critical article. “They now keep her as a hostage in Turkey; that is unacceptable.”
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