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1000s rally as Erdogan opens mosque in Cologne

03 October 2018

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was addressing Turkish Parliament's second legislative session in the capital Ankara. Ankara regards the YPG as a terrorist organisation, closely tied to the militant PKK which has fought a decades-old insurgency in southeast Turkey.

Erdogan's Friday visit to Berlin has stirred considerable controversy in Germany, with many criticizing Merkel for hosting a leader which some in the country accuse of being increasingly authoritarian.

In General, Erdogan praised the visit to Germany as "useful for bilateral relations".

Thousands of demonstrators hit the streets of Cologne Saturday as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened one of Europe's largest mosques at the end of his visit to Germany, with police out in force to manage rival rallies.

"We are leaving painful terms in the recent past with Germany behind", Erdogan said.

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One big uncertain question for USA and foreign automakers is whether US tariffs on Canadian steel will be lifted. Trump blames NAFTA for causing USA manufacturing jobs to move to low-wage Mexico and is demanding major changes.

While a resumption of accession negotiations for Turkey's moribund EU bid was not on the table, some improvements - such as a modernisation of a Customs Union - could take place after European parliament elections in May 2019, said Mr Toygur.

Mr Steinmeier said the "strong emotions" the visit aroused in Germany were a reflection of tensions that have yet to be overcome and warned: "A single visit is not enough to restore normality".

It exacerbated tensions between the two countries, with many German citizens being held in Turkey on political charges as part of Erdogan's clamp down on free speech.

"We are in favor of a four-way meeting with the presidents of Turkey, Russia and France and myself because the situation (in Syria) is still fragile", Merkel told reporters after talks with Erdogan.

1000s rally as Erdogan opens mosque in Cologne