CORRECTS – Senior MP: Erdogan to meet German CEOs in Berlin

CHANGES 'SEPTEMBER' TO 'OCTOBER' IN GRAFS 5, 6

By Emin Avundukluoglu and Aynur Ekiz

ANKARA (AA) – A senior Turkish lawmaker said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would meet the CEOs of several major German companies during his visit to Berlin on Sept. 28.

"The main objective of our president's Germany visit is to give a boost to Turkey-Germany relations," Mustafa Yeneroglu, who holds a dual Turkish-German citizenship, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.

"Our president will separately receive the CEOs of some big German companies and the representatives of NGOs," said Yeneroglu, who is a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party member of the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK).

Germany is Turkey’s main economic and trade partner and more than 7,500 German companies are active in Turkey. In 2017, the bilateral trade volume reached €37.6 billion ($43.6 billion).

Yeneroglu said that a huge delegation of German businesspeople would visit Turkey in October.

"A huge economic delegation with German businessmen will visit Turkey in October under the chairmanship of German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier," he said.

Yeneroglu stressed that Erdogan's visit was of vital significance considering the importance of German investments in Turkey.

– 'New chapter'

"The visits [between the two countries] will reciprocally continue," said the Istanbul province lawmaker.

Political relations between Ankara and Berlin suffered several setbacks in the past years, but both sides took steps in the recent months towards improving the relations.

Erdogan is scheduled to pay a key visit to Berlin on Sept. 27-29, which would be his first official visit to Germany since 2014.

The president will meet his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

During his visit, Erdogan will attend the inauguration of the Cologne Central Mosque.

"We hope that a new chapter will be opened for Turkey-Germany relations," said Yeneroglu.

More than 3 million people of Turkish origin live in Germany. Many of them are second- and third-generation German-born citizens whose Turkish grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.

– 'Erdogan's visit to be a test'

Yeneroglu noted the perception in Turkish public opinion that "Germany has not sufficiently fought against the PKK terror organization".

"They have taken some measures against the PKK recently," said Yeneroglu.

Yeneroglu warned German security forces about PKK members' protests during Erdogan's visit.

"They will hold protests in every corner of Germany, which should take measures against them, as they have taken against Daesh terrorists," said Yeneroglu.

Yeneroglu recalled that Germany officially recognized the PKK as a terrorist organization.

"There is a negative perception in German public opinion about Turkey, but there is also a negative perception in Turkish public opinion about Germany," said Yeneroglu.

"These perceptions should be lifted with the efforts of both countries. [Erdogan's visit] will be an important test," he added.

The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it remains active, with nearly 14,000 followers among the Kurdish immigrant population in the country.

Ankara has long accused Berlin of failing to take serious measures against the PKK and its Syrian branch the PYD, which use the country as a platform for their fund-raising, recruitment, and propaganda activities.

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