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Erdogan warms to Germans ahead of trip, but Berlin visit may disappoint

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hopeful talk en route to Berlin via New York this week is premature, as his visit has sharply divided Germany and the large Turkish population that lives there.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the beginning of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Bernd Von Jutrczenka/POOL - RC16778A3FD0

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to fly to Berlin on Thursday on his first formal state visit to the German capital, where he will be received with full honors by his German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier. Coming amid a looming economic crisis and a meltdown in relations with Washington, Erdogan’s trip is seen as critical to Ankara’s efforts to restore Turkey’s credibility with foreign investors and sagging diplomatic prestige among its Western allies. Above all, it's viewed as an opportunity to turn the page with Germany, the country that arguably has the most leverage over Turkey. Erdogan’s likening of its leaders to “Nazis,” jailing of German citizens for political reasons and meddling in Germany’s internal politics have left an indelible mark.

But Erdogan’s hopeful talk of leaving the “past period completely behind” in comments to reporters en route to New York this week is premature.

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