Germany’s Chancellor Merkel has been welcomed in Ankara, as she makes overtures of support for Turkey’s EU ambitions.
The first stop in Merkel’s Turkish tour on Sunday saw her visiting German troops. The officers are operating NATO Patriot missiles deployed near Turkey’s border with Syria. She said that the presence of German troops in Turkey would help create better understanding between the nations.
However, a recent poll in a German newspaper showed 60 percent of Germans remain firmly against Turkey joining the EU.
On a previous visit Merkel spoke out against Turkey’s membership, but she has now announced her backing for the opening of a new chapter in the slow-moving EU membership talks. Though she still remains sceptical about full accession.
The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that the EU would lose Turkey if it does not gain membership by 2023.