Germany and Turkey have been celebrating 50 years of their ground-breaking Labour Pact, the process signed in October 1961 that opened the gates to Turkish migrants to Germany as guest workers.
Hundreds of thousands came, and unexpectedly many of them stayed. Today Germany has a Turkish community of some three million, a third of whom have German citizenship.
It is all part of a nationwide festival during which Germany has said “thank you” to everyone involved.
“The target of our process of full EU membership isn’t only the economic benefits but also beyond that political and social relationships are in question. These are at the heart of everything, and a wide framework is needed. Because in the union, such a cooperation with all these countries will strengthen the union and also us,” said the visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
During the visit officials are also expected to discuss Turkey’s stalled membership bid which has slowed markedly since Turkey and Cyprus started arguing about a gas find in the Mediterranean.