CHANCELLOR MERKEL VISITS TURKEY

Turkish Press
March 31 2010

Chancellor Merkel's first stop will be a visit to Ataturk's Mausoleum,
after which she will meet Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and
President Abdullah Gul.

Following her contacts in Ankara, Chancellor Merkel will move on to
Istanbul to attend the Turkish-German business forum.

Turkey's EU bid will dominate the agenda of Chancellor Merkel's visit.

Ahead of the trip, Merkel sent messages to Turkey through the media.

Merkel reiterated the option of "privileged partnership" and stated
her opposition to opening Turkish high schools in Germany.

Turkey's reaction to these statements came pretty quick.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that is German high school in
Turkey and that they will give a huge property in Beykoz for Germany's
university requests.

Erdogan said "I don't understand the reason of their hatred and grudge
against Turkey. I wouldn't expect this attitude from Merkel. I will
share my opinions with her. Turkey is not a whipping boy."

Another issue waiting to be resolved between Turkey and Germany is
the visa-free travel problem.

Fight against terrorism, Cyprus, normalization of relations between
Turkey and Armenia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran's nuclear program
are other important topics in the agenda.