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Merkel's 'indecent proposal' to Erdogan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's impromptu visit to Istanbul on behalf of the EU was highly criticized as a desperate gift to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Turkey's elections draw close.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan waits for the start of a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk (unseen) at the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium October 5, 2015. Erdogan appeared to mock European Union overtures for help with its migration crisis as he arrived for a long-awaited state visit to Brussels and a string of meetings with EU leaders set to start on Monday.     REUTERS/Francois Lenoir  - RTS33VZ

It is only a week before the snap elections and in Turkey, nobody really remembers that Germany’s Angela Merkel was in Istanbul on Oct. 18. Yet, despite their reputation in this regard, this cannot be explained by the infamously short memory of Turks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Merkel pompously, but their meeting was held in a former Ottoman setting in Istanbul instead of his new notorious palace in the capital, Ankara. To remind her of past Ottoman grandeur — or perhaps to remind himself that he is the heir of the glorious Ottoman sultans — Erdogan had Merkel sit next to him, each of them in gilded armchairs embellished with kitsch pseudo-imperial decorations.

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