New Turkish Embassy in Berlin is Symbol of Deep Roots
Enlarge image Prime Minister Erdoğan and Chancellor Merkel on October 31 (© picture alliance / dpa) Turkey opened its new embassy in Berlin this week, returning its mission in the German capital to its former location in the Tiergarten district, home to many diplomatic missions. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu both came to Berlin to officially open the embassy on October 30 in the presence of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
The following day, Prime Minister Erdoğan met with Chancellor Angela Merkel. The two leaders talked about Turkey’s EU-membership negotiations and about the situation in Syria, Turkey’s neighbor to the south. Chancellor Merkel stressed that the membership negotiations would continue and said she would travel to Turkey in 2013.
On Syria, Chancellor Merkel thanked Turkey for its particularly level-headed stance in dealing with the conflict. So far, more than 340,000 Syrians have fled their country into neighboring states, including Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan. Germany is one of the largest donors of aid to help the refugees, increasing its humanitarian assistance on October 30 by another 1.3 million euros and bringing its total humanitarian assistance for the refugees to over 50 million euros.
Embassy is symbol of deep roots
Enlarge image Foreign Minister Westerwelle cuts the ribbon with Prime Minister Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Davutoğlu and their wives. (© picture alliance / dpa) The opening of the new Turkish Embassy on October 30 drew a large crowd, with over 1,400 guests expected. In his speech, Foreign Minister Westerwelle emphasized Turkey’s “impressive history of success” over the past decade, saying “Turkey has become a global player.”
“Today Germany enjoys a unique relationship with this country on the rise,” he went on. The relationship was not only political in nature, he added, saying that many millions of families and many millions of travelers also contributed to it. He closed by extolling the friendship between the two countries: “Yaşasın Türk-Alman Dostluğu! Biz birlikteyiz!”
Enlarge image The distinctive entrance of the new Turkish Embassy in Berlin (© picture alliance / dpa) Later, in his own speech, Prime Minister Erdoğan spoke in favor of close dialogue between Germany and Turkey, saying that Turkish citizens living in Germany and Germans with a Turkish heritage should be seen as an asset. One example among many: Mesut Özil, who plays for Germany’s national football team. The new embassy on the old location was a symbol of the deep roots of the relationship between the countries.
It is Turkey’s largest embassy. The new building is located on a historic site. Beginning in 1918, first the Ottoman Empire, then Turkey had had its embassy there. The original building was destroyed in World War II. With its newly built embassy, Turkey returns to Berlin’s Tiergarten district. After the German Government moved from Bonn to Berlin, it had been provisionally located in an office building further east in the capital.