24.04.2024

İlhan Uzgel: "Our Citizens are Victimised on the Visa Issue; Our Chairperson asked the German President to take the Initiative on this Issue"

CHP Deputy Chairperson İlhan Uzgel said about the meeting between CHP Chairperson Özgür Özel and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier: "The visa issue was very important. For a long time, many European Union countries, especially Germany, have been causing difficulties for the citizens of the Republic of Turkey. Our citizens are very victimised in this regard. There are business people, artists, scientists, people going to congresses, people who have travelled to Germany many times, young people, some students. These are not people who will apply for potential asylum. They also receive refusals. Our President listed them one by one and asked the German President to take the initiative on this issue."

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who paid an official visit to Turkey for the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and Turkey, met with CHP Chairperson Özgür Özel. CHP Deputy Chairperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prof. Dr. İlhan Uzgel spoke to ANKA News Agency about the Steinmeier-Özel meeting. Uzgel said the following:

"WE DISCUSSED THE REFUGEE ISSUE IN DETAIL"

"We met with German President Steinmeier as a delegation upon the invitation of the German President. He is the former Minister of Exterior. Generally speaking, it was a very productive, sincere and friendly meeting. Many issues between Turkey and Germany and many issues related to our region were on the agenda. In general terms, I can say that it was a very productive meeting.

The main issues in the relations between the two countries were discussed, but the German President started by congratulating our Chairperson Özgür Özel for his election success. After the election, there is a great interest in the CHP abroad, there is an increase in demand for the CHP. We recognise this very clearly. Many countries, embassies, presidents, prime ministers, political party leaders are lining up to congratulate our President, and we are receiving requests for meetings. Therefore, the German President also started by congratulating us. They said that they were following Turkey very closely, and we were even a little surprised to see that the German President conveyed to us some of the data we had planned to give them. In bilateral relations, there is the refugee issue, we discussed this in detail. There is the Palestinian issue, and we all know the sensitivity of the Germans on this issue. Despite this, our President touched upon this issue in a very clear and open way at the congress of the German Social Democratic Party in Berlin, even though the Germans do not like it very much. He expressed the problems in Gaza. These issues were also on the agenda during the meeting with the German President and he clearly expressed Turkey's and CHP's position on this issue.

"WE EXPRESSED THE VICTIMISATION OF OUR CITIZENS ON VISA ISSUE"

The visa issue was very important. For a long time, many European Union countries, especially Germany, have been causing difficulties for the citizens of the Republic of Turkey. Our citizens are very victimised in this regard. As both the main opposition party and the party that came first in the elections, we have expressed our sensitivity on this issue. We are already sharing with the public that we are ready to do everything we can. Our Chairperson clearly explained the problem here to the German President. 'Waiting times are too long, rejection rates are too high.' This is not true. Many of our citizens, some of them are not in the category that Germans can complain about. There are business people, artists, scientists, people going to congresses, people who have travelled to Germany many times, young people, some students. These are not people who will apply for potential apostasy. They also receive rejections. Our President listed them one by one and asked the German President to take the initiative on this issue. There will be a European Football Championship in Germany in June. The Turkish national team will be participating in the championship and even the applications on this issue have already been rejected. It has become clear that there will be a problem even for Turkish citizens and football fans to go to Germany and follow Turkey's national matches. The President of the Republic has already called on the German President to take the initiative to ensure that no problems are caused even for those who are going to the football match."

Uzgel also said the following about Steinmeier's approach and answers during the meeting:

"He was very positive. He was also very open and answered sincerely. He was curious about regional developments and internal developments. Opinions on this issue were shared. As for the visa issue, of course they are aware of this. Actually, they also know what they are doing. Although they did not make very clear assurances on this issue, they told us that they would support us as much as they could."


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