Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday.
This is the Turkish leader's first visit to Germany since 2020. He arrived at a military airport on Friday afternoon for a visit that is expected to last only several hours.
After his arrival, Erdogan met with German President Frank Walter-Steinmeier before talks with the chancellor.
Disagreements on Israel-Hamas war
A major point of contention between Germany and Turkey is the war between Israel and the Hamas Islamist militant group.
Erdogan has heavily criticized Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, and accused Israel of committing war crimes.
Israeli authorities have said the offensive aims to root out Hamas in Gaza in response to the October 7 terror attacks.
The Turkish president has also referred to Hamas militants as "liberators." The group is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, Germany, the United States and the EU, along with other countries.
Scholz on Tuesday called Erdogan's accusations "absurd," adding that Israel is a democracy and "a country that is bound to human rights and international law and acts accordingly."
A spokesperson for German President Steinmeier said he had stressed Germany's position, which highlights "Israel's right to exist as well as its right to defend itself" during talks with Erdogan.
What else is expected during the talks?
Scholz said ahead of the meeting that Sweden's accession to the NATO military alliance would also likely come up in talks with the Turkish president.
Turkey's government had raised objections to Sweden's bid to join NATO because it allowed residency for groups Ankara has classified as terrorists, including Kurdish groups and people allegedly tied to a failed coup attempt in 2016. Erdogan has since dropped the objections, but parliament has yet to ratify a bill for the approval of Swedish NATO membership.
Also likely to be discussed is migration. The EU considers Turkey to be a key ally in efforts to stem arrivals at the bloc's external borders.
Turkey is set to hold municipal elections early next year. Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) hopes to retake the capital, Ankara, and the most populous city of Istanbul.
sdi/wmr (Reuters, dpa)