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April 24, 2024 (EIRNS)—This week saw Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan make what has been described as an “historic” and “landmark” visit to Iraq with a host of ministers, where he was warmly welcomed by the Iraqi President and Prime Minister. He signed a number of economic and political agreements, including a major transportation project which promises to transform the logistics of the entire region.

This was in notable contrast to the visit of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Türkiye, his first since becoming President. He did not seem to follow the protocol which the dignity of his office would demand. First, he did not arrive in Türkiye with a significant delegation of ministers or German businessmen, but with a big piece of döner kebab, complete with a Turkish-German kebab chef, as a gift supposedly representing the cultural cuisine the 3 million Turks living and working in Germany have contributed to German culture. Needless to say, this did not go over very well on Turkish social media.

Furthermore, Steinmeier chose to arrive on April 22, when President Erdogan was in Iraq, and landed in Istanbul, rather than in the capital, Ankara, where he was greeted by the deputy mayor. He also broke protocol by meeting with Istanbul’s mayor, the opposition politician Ekrem Imamoglu, whose victory in recent local elections dealt a blow to Erdogan and his ruling party. Indeed, the German President’s mission appears to have been designed to lecture Erdogan on how to run politics in his own country. Significantly, he was met by Turkish demonstrators protesting Germany’s pro-Israel policy everywhere he went.

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