Erdogan: Racism, Islamophobia remain major problem for Turks in Europe

Turkey’s President Erdogan urged European countries to take effective measures against all discriminatory treatments, attacks at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Merkel in Istanbul.

Turkey’s President Erdogan and Germany’s Chancellor Merkel held an hour-long meeting in Istanbul. (Reuters)

Racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and discrimination have remained the main problem for the Turkish community in Europe, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Speaking at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “Turkish community in Germany constitutes our common wealth and it holds important social aspect of our relations.”

Erdogan called on European nations to take effective measures against all discriminatory treatments and racist attacks.

Erdogan expressed hope that Merkel will continue to contribute to the friendship between the two nations after leaving office.

The president also expressed hope that the successful work that they carried out with the outgoing German chancellor will continue in the same manner under a new German government.

For her part, Merkel said the EU’s support to Turkey on irregular migration would continue.

“We want to prevent human trafficking. It is essential … for the EU to support Turkey in this regard,” she said.

Common interests

Merkel stressed that Turkey and Germany always have common interests, and added that this would be how the next federal government will see it.

The press conference followed an hour-long meeting between Erdogan and Merkel at the Huber Mansion.

The two leaders discussed issues on their agenda, especially bilateral relations, in today’s meetings, Erdogan said.

After 16 years in power, Merkel is preparing to leave active politics later this year, but she will remain in her post until a new coalition government is formed.

Her Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) narrowly lost the general elections late last month.

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