Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Turkey: Doner kebab with spicy or with out? | EUROtoday

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On the third day in Turkey, Frank-Walter Steinmeier shouts loudly “Hello soldier!” – “Hello, soldiers!” The sky over the presidential palace in Ankara is overcast, the turquoise uniforms of the troopers shine between the tin helmets and chain mail of the palace's costumed bodyguards. Recep Tayyip Erdogan nods fortunately and leads the Federal President over the virtually 100 meter lengthy turquoise carpet to the Palace, the thousand-room palace of the Turkish president. Another sluggish activate the steps to the doorway, a smile, a handshake, then it's time for a one-on-one dialog.

Has a number of packing Frank Walter Steinmeier
delivered to Turkey. Really large questions, the wars within the Middle East and Russia's marketing campaign of destruction towards Ukraine. Very small questions are available between, for instance why the Federal President traveled to Turkey with Berlin kebab meat. Behind the whole lot is the Federal President's try and warmly embrace Turkey and its civil society – and to have a critical dialog in regards to the matter with its president.

Differences with the Middle East

Of course, the struggle within the Middle East is being mentioned within the palace in Ankara – however from two fully reverse views. Steinmeier speaks in regards to the “brutal attack by Hamas on Israel” and says: “Without it there would be no war.” He spoke to Erdoğan about their “differences”. This can be mirrored in the truth that Erdoğan says nothing about Hamas terror – and Steinmeier says little in regards to the struggling in Gaza, however says one thing in regards to the want for humanitarian assist. Which in flip takes Erdoğan as a possibility to lament the struggling of the civilian inhabitants and denounce Israel's “unprecedented aggression.” “Benjamin Netanyahu is putting the security of the entire region at risk just to prolong his political life,” says Erdoğan. That the financially weakened Türkiye When requested, he denied that he continued to take care of good financial relations with Israel. “The intensive economic relations with Israel are over.” He says nothing in regards to the much less intense ones.

The Turkish president acquired the Hamas chief in exile, Ismail Haniya, final week Ankara. Difficult to digest for the Germans. Conversely, the Turks take offense on the Germans for supporting Israel in solidarity regardless of Netanyahu and the Gaza struggle. The Germans in Turkey can not ignore the sharp criticism of their Israel coverage. On the primary day of Steinmeier's go to to Istanbul, demonstrators shouted “murderers” and “Zionists” on the Sirkeci practice station. They held up photos of Netanyahu, Steinmeier and Hitler. Steinmeier additionally welcomes such protest brigades in Gaziantep and Ankara. They are sometimes Palestine activists, usually with an Islamist cost. But criticism of the German place cuts throughout all ranges in Turkey. Erdoğan doesn't want so as to add way more. On the opposite, the place he normally likes to serve issues very spicy, he didn’t contradict Steinmeier when he famous widespread pursuits: that this struggle “will not be a conflagration” and that “solutions for Gaza” should be discovered.

Who owns the kebab?

There isn't a lot from Erdoğan in regards to the kebab capers on this journey both. The Berlin innkeeper Arif Keles traveled with Steinmeier and was allowed to retailer 60 kilos of frozen meat within the storage room of the presidential airplane. What the Federal President's Office deliberate as a bow to German-Turkish historical past shortly turned information within the Turkish and German media. There are complaints that the historical past of individuals of Turkish origin in Germany is lowered to kebab. There could be a lot better Turkish meals. And why deliver German kebab meat to Turkey? The pleasure appears extreme given the truth that the kebab was at a reception on the residence of the German ambassador in Istanbul will be served with garlic or “with spicy”. But maybe the actual Berlin kebab as a German-Turkish cultural asset has not been defined nicely sufficient. Erdoğan's solely remark was: “The kebab was eaten in Istanbul.”

What Erdoğan didn't tolerate nicely was Steinmeier's assembly with the opposition politician Ekrem Imamoğlu, the good winner of the Istanbul mayoral elections in March. Erdoğan's entourage is aggravated by the İmamoğlu folks's spin that Steinmeier visited the mayor two days earlier than Erdoğan. Steinmeier corrects Erdoğan: İmamoğlu visited him within the German residence in Tarabya on the Bosporus. Steinmeier's different encounters, nonetheless, attraction to Erdoğan: schoolchildren and earthquake refugees within the Gaziantep area, who’re supported by Germany, the University of Ankara, enterprise representatives. The assembly with representatives of civil society and the dialog in regards to the rule of legislation – nicely.

Erdoğan desires cooperation on armaments

And the Turkish ruler has one want. German arms exports to Turkey ought to not be blocked. Yes, you might even produce navy gear collectively. There nonetheless appears to be an extended option to go so long as Turkey likes to swing backwards and forwards between NATO and feigned neutrality.

In the top, it’s noticeable that the grasp of polarization doesn’t wish to polarize in any respect on at the present time. Erdoğan and Steinmeier have already been capable of do one thing fully totally different: see the alienation after the putsch in Turkey in 2016, the scandal on the state banquet in Berlin in 2018, the variations of opinion about Gaza in November 2023. This time Erdoğan doesn't want a row and Steinmeier leaves the palace unexpectedly relaxed. Both can smile on the ironic twist whereas consuming collectively. Erdoğan surprisingly had the menu modified. There is kebab, however the traditional Turkish one.