Turkey’s new embassy in Berlin opened

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated Turkey’s new embassy building in Germany’s capital city of Berlin.

Speaking at the opening ceremony which was also attended by his wife Emine Erdogan, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle, as well as prominent businesspeople and representatives from non-governmental organizations, Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s commitment to join the European Union.

“Turkey did not give up on its target to become an EU member because we believe in the Union’s goals and achievements," Erdogan said, adding that the EU should stick with its enlargement process to provide peace and prosperity for more parts of the world and that the Union is still an important global actor.

Erdogan also urged the Turks living in Germany to integrate and preserve unity and solidarity. Stating that some three million Turks living in Germany constitute one of the most essential elements of the relations between the two countries, Erdogan said, "You should not have the slightest problem when it comes to integration.

Education is still crucial for the Turkish community to be able to participate in all facets of life. We want all Turks in Germany to speak both Turkish and German fluently because we believe that bilingualism is richness and we encourage it." For his part, Westerwelle said welcome to Erdogan in Turkish, telling him that Turkey has written a success story in the last decade.

Erdogan also hoisted the Turkish flag at the new embassy was built over the land which used to house the Ottoman Embassy until 1918 on the Tiergarten Strasse. The new embassy is the largest Turkish foreign mission abroad.

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