Steinmeier journey to Turkey: “The kebab skewer is already frozen” | EUROtoday

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Deutschland Steinmeier journey to Turkey

“The kebab skewer is already frozen”

Arif Keles aus Berlin Arif Keles aus Berlin

Arif Keles aus Berlin


It is Frank-Walter Steinmeier's first journey to Turkey as Federal President – and a diplomatic balancing act. Arif Keles, a Berlin kebab restaurant, is on the aircraft together with his meat skewer. It is a part of Steinmeier's techniques.

FArif Keles has ready all the things for the journey with the Federal President. “The kebab skewer is already frozen,” says Keles, who’s the third technology to run a grill snack bar at Berlin’s Yorckstrasse S-Bahn station. “The spies are traveling on the presidential plane.”

On Monday, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier units off on a go to to Turkey – his first since taking workplace. He takes the Berlin kebab innkeeper with him as a visitor of honor: Keles is meant to serve his kebab from Berlin on the state reception on Monday night on the Bosphorus.

It is an uncommon presidential go to: Steinmeier's official contacts with the state management across the autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been diminished to a minimal. Instead, Steinmeier needs to honor the shut ties between the populations of each international locations, particularly the life's work of these Turks who’ve made their strategy to Germany as migrant employees because the Sixties – like Arif Keles' grandfather.

Arif Keles is the third generation to run his kebab shop in Berlin-Kreuzberg

Arif Keles is the third technology to run his kebab store in Berlin on the border between Schöneberg and Kreuzberg


“I see it as a great appreciation that I can go on the trip,” says Keles. His grandfather labored in a casting manufacturing unit for years, then opened his personal kebab store in 1986 – “and now the president is taking me as a grandson to the homeland of my ancestors.”

In Istanbul, the primary cease on his journey, Steinmeier will meet individuals with a migration background and representatives of civil society on Monday – however no representatives of the Erdogan authorities. His first dialog companion in Istanbul is Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu – the preferred Turkish opposition politician, who some already see as the following president. On Tuesday, Steinmeier visited earthquake survivors in Gaziantep on the Syrian border.

Erdogan assembly on the finish of the journey

“It is a signal that this journey does not begin in Ankara,” says the Federal President’s Office. He will solely meet Turkish President Erdogan, with whom Steinmeier has already had many arguments, when the journey ends on Wednesday in Ankara. It is kind of attainable that the variations will then change into obvious once more.

Steinmeier counters this with a message: No matter how massive the variations with Erdogan are, the Germans and the Turks share an in depth friendship.

Doner kebab as “a kind of German national food”

And hardly something embodies the roots of Turkish tradition in on a regular basis German life as a lot because the kebab. That's why the Federal President invited the Kreuzberg grill stall proprietor Arif Keles to return alongside. “The kebab has now become a kind of German national food”: This is how a Steinmeier guide places it, pointing to an estimated annual turnover of the German kebab trade of seven billion euros – a migrant success story.

With the journey shortly earlier than the seventy fifth birthday of the Federal Republic, Steinmeier wished to “set the example that the life stories and life achievements of now four generations of Turkish immigrants are part of our Federal Republic,” in keeping with the Federal President’s Office. “You belong in the heart of Germany, so to speak.”

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Of course, this appreciative dedication doesn’t seize the whole complexity of the connection between Germany and Turkey: nearly three million individuals of Turkish origin now reside in Germany. However, relations at authorities degree between the Federal Republic of Germany and Erdogan's Türkiye have been poor for years.

Erdogan's present assist for the unconventional Islamic Hamas within the Gaza Strip is disturbing for the federal authorities. German criticism of deficiencies in democracy and the rule of regulation in Turkey is an ongoing situation anyway, and Erdogan all the time reacts angrily to such criticism.

Former Foreign Minister Steinmeier has repeatedly skilled the Turkish president's irritability; he has identified Erdogan for 20 years. The incontrovertible fact that Steinmeier took seven years after his election as Federal President to go to Turkey for the primary time as head of state speaks for itself.