Germany invites newly re-elected Turkish President Erdogan to Berlin

Supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks to the newly re-elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and invites him to visit Berlin, the Germany government says.

Islamic-rooted conservative Erdogan — Turkey’s longest-serving leader — won a historic run-off election on Sunday, extending his two-decade rule.

“The chancellor emphasized the close ties between Germany and Turkey, not least as joint allies in NATO,” the German government says in a statement, adding that “both agreed to approach the cooperation between the two governments with fresh impetus and to agree on common priorities.”

It adds that Scholz invited Erdogan for “an inaugural visit.”

“Among other things, they want to work together on a good development in the Eastern Mediterranean, on the decisions currently pending in NATO, and on Turkey’s relationship with the European Union,” the statement says.

Observers expect Erdogan to continue playing a bridging role between Russia and Western partners for Turkey’s benefit.

Erdogan’s personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has survived the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine.

And NATO partners are anxiously waiting for Ankara to approve Sweden’s stalled bid to join the US-led defense alliance.

Erdogan has blocked the application, accusing Stockholm of sheltering Turkish opposition figures with alleged links to outlawed Kurdish militants.

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