Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived in Berlin on Friday for key talks with German leaders on the Gaza war and regional developments.
The visit comes amid a growing international outcry over Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, which has claimed more than 11,500 lives so far, with many of them children and women.
Erdoğan is scheduled to meet first with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace. The two leaders will hold a one-on-one meeting, followed by expanded talks between the delegations.
Later on Friday, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz will host a working dinner for Erdoğan, where they are expected to discuss a range of regional and global issues, including calls for a cease-fire in Gaza and efforts to de-escalate the Israel-Palestine war.
Ahead of his Berlin visit, the Turkish leader sharply criticized Western countries for providing blanket support to the Israeli government but turning a blind eye to war crimes committed in Gaza.
Germany’s Scholz repeatedly said Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas, and opposed calls for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, arguing that it will give a respite to the Palestinian group.
Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.
At least 11,500 Palestinians have since been killed, including more than 7,800 women and children, and over 29,200 injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities.
A group of UN experts recently warned that Palestinians are “at a grave risk of genocide” as the Israeli military continued its indiscriminate attacks in Gaza while imposing a total blockade, cutting off the water, food and electricity supplies.