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HomeDeutschlandControversial Germany Visit: Steinmeier Receives Erdogan - 2800 Police Officers Deployed in...

Controversial Germany Visit: Steinmeier Receives Erdogan – 2800 Police Officers Deployed in Berlin

Update, 15.35 PM: The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was received by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace on Friday afternoon. Steinmeier and Erdogan greeted each other with a handshake, after which the Turkish President signed the guestbook at Bellevue Palace.

Controversial Visit with Scholz: Erdogan Arrives in Berlin

During his short visit of only a few hours, Erdogan is set to be first received by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace. He will then have dinner with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). Departure is planned for the evening.

The visit is mainly controversial due to Erdogan’s sharp verbal attacks against Israel since the beginning of the Gaza War. Erdogan accused the country of “genocide” in the Gaza Strip and “fascism,” questioned Israel’s right to exist, and referred to the terrorist organization Hamas as a “liberation organization”. Scholz dismissed Erdogan’s accusations against Israel as “absurd.”

Scholz and Erdogan will take questions from journalists at the Berlin Chancellery on Friday before their dinner. “At the beginning of the meeting between the two, there will be a press encounter, but there will also be the possibility to ask questions,” said government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit in Berlin.

In the past, during visits from abroad, there have been press encounters in the Chancellery without the opportunity to ask questions, which has been criticized by capital city journalists. For example, in June, there was discontent when, under pressure from the Chinese side, no questions were allowed at the joint press encounter between the Chancellor and the Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang.

2800 Police Officers Deployed

Due to extensive security measures and closures, the police have significantly increased the number of their deployed forces. Around 2800 police officers were on duty on Friday, said a spokesperson shortly before Erdogan’s planned arrival, for whom security level 1 applies. The Berlin police were supported by colleagues from eleven federal states, the federal police, and customs.

In the morning, the police highlighted numerous closures and traffic disruptions. “If you are affected by traffic-related restrictions at any time between 6:00 am and 12:00 am, we ask for your understanding,” the police posted on their online deployment channel on the X platform. They advised to bypass the areas extensively.

Since early Friday morning, larger areas around the Chancellery, Bellevue Palace as the official residence of the Federal President, and the Turkish Embassy in Tiergarten were cordoned off. Only residents with identification were allowed entry. Demonstrations were prohibited there, as was the parking of cars. However, several demonstrations against Erdogan and his policies were registered at the edge of the restricted zone and at the Brandenburg Gate.

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