Erdogan hopes to rebuild USA ties

Erdogan hopes to rebuild USA ties

Erdogan hopes to rebuild USA ties

The inauguration capped a controversial three-day state visit aimed at repairing frayed ties with Berlin after two years of tensions.

Mr Erdogan negotiated a potentially thorny news conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel without any major provocation, smiling when security bundled out a journalist wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "freedom for journalists".

She said there were "deep differences" between the two countries on civil rights and other issues.

At one of the rallies on the bank of the Rhine river, demonstrators waved banners reading: "Erdogan not welcome".

Erdogan spoke Saturday at the ribbon-cutting for a mosque in Cologne belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs.

Earlier, the President of Turkey, following a meeting in Ankara with the heads of American companies, said that Turkish-American relations will be strengthened through trade. Police snipers were stationed on rooftops and the area around the mosque was cordoned off.

"Erdogan is very popular because he has done a lot for his people", said Yusuf Simsek, 42, a computer technician with Turkish roots.

Laschet and Cologne mayor Henriette Reker did not attend the opening ceremony of the mosque.

Yet it will take more to overcome months of tensions and the magnitude of the challenge was underlined in a strikingly frank speech by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier as he hosted Mr Erdogan for the welcoming state dinner late Thursday.

The Turkish authorities detained Brunson on allegations of assisting groups branded as terrorist, part of a crackdown by the Turkish government following the failed coup in 2016.

The Turkish lira has lost almost 40 per cent of its value against the dollar this year. Hundreds of people, including many from the Kurdish community, came out to the streets.

The two leaders met twice the previous week, however, with Merkel stressing the importance of a "stable" Turkey to help control the influx of migrants to Europe.

Related news