Prime Minister Erdogan, who was in Germany between 7-10th February to attend the Security Conference in Munich, first visited the building where 9 Turkish citizens were killed during a fire in Ludwigshafen. The Prime Minister inspected the sight and relayed his condolences to the families and to the injured he wished fast recoveries. He also stated Turkey will be following the reasons of the occurrence of the fire.
On the second day of the visit, Mr. Erdogan met the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Mrs. Angela Merkel and during the meeting they talked about bilateral relations, EU negotiations on membership and current international issues. Afterwards, Prime Minister Erdogan made the opening speech of Munich Security Conference on "Unstable World: Changing Power Balances, Insufficient Strategies?" where he emphasized terror becoming a big threat by globalizing and that all the countries should act together against it. Mr. Prime Minister has also stated that Turkey's only aim is full membership and the offer of a privileged partnership to the EU is extremely unpleasant.
Mr. Egemen Bagis, AK Party Vice Chairman in charge of Foreign affairs accompanied the Prime Minister on the last day of the visit and attended the program at Cologne Arena where Turkish origin people in Germany were brought together. Minister of Defense Mr. Vecdi Gönül, Minister of Labor and Social Security Mr. Faruk Çelik and AK Party Vice Chairmen Mr. Haluk İpek, Mr. Şaban Dişli, Mr.Şükrü Ayalan and a delegation of AK Party Deputies also attended the program. Hon. Ambassador Mehmet Ali İrtemçelik as well as numerous authorities from Turkey also attended the program.
Before the Prime Minister's speech, Egemen Bagis saluted the crowd of 14000 and gave a speech with unity and cooperation messages to our expatriates. Bagis emphasized that stability and wealth came to Turkey with AK Party and Turkey became a powerful country. Bagis underlined that more power of Turkey means stronger expatriates. He also added that Turkish citizens living abroad are not alone and as AK Party government, they give an importance to our expatriates and embrace them.
"A Turk, no matter where he was born, is a Turk" stated Bagis and he underlined that Turkish citizens are the most honorable, noble people in the societies where they live. "That's why it is very important that Turkish families send their children to the best schools and the Turkish community should be organized and live in solidarity so that we can be more powerful."
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, taking over the platform, stated in his speech that Turks, who has been living in Germany for 47 years, have contributed to the development and progress of Germany with their labor force. "No to Assimilation, Yes to Integration" stated the Prime Minister and added that he wants to see Turkish origin politicians, Turkish origin mayors all over the world. He reminded our expatriates that they are not alone and underlined that the change that has come with AK Party will continue and everybody will take advantage of it. He stated that AK Party is not the lord, but the servant of our citizens. He called on the expatriates: "You see the change in Turkey, you see how it is mirrored to the world, to Europe better than anybody else". The Prime Minister also mentioned EU membership of Turkey and said "There is and there will be no alternative for Turkey other than full membership. Prime Minister Erdogan then called the AK Party delegation, former Ambassador of Berlin Hon. Mehmet Ali İrtemçelik and the current Ambassador of Berlin Hon. Ahmet Acet to the podium and greeted the expatriates, giving them a message of unity.
In the press conference returning from Cologne, Prime Minister Erdogan said "The meeting in Cologne was the biggest single-auditorium-get-together that Turkish Republic has realized with its citizens living abroad. We find it very important to demonstrate that; nothing can harm our unity and that we are clamped together with our citizens in Turkey and abroad especially after the fires that occurred few days ago. During the meeting our citizens; Sunni and Alevi, Turkish and Kurdish, Laz and Circassian, young and old, eastern and western, man and woman from the age of 7 to 70 came together."