Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been sworn in as German president. The popular Social Democrat and former foreign minister used his maiden speech to urge Turkey’s President Erdogan to ease tensions between their countries, Deutsche Welle reports.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier became the president of Germany in a ceremony on Wednesday in Berlin. He has taken over the post from Joachim Gauck and become the country’s 12th president.
Steinmeier used his maiden speech in the position to address Germany’s currently troubled relationship with Turkey, after Ankara accused Berlin of employing “Nazi tactics” in its ban on campaign appearances by Turkish ministers on German soil. Germany has also expressed outrage at the arrest of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel on charges of producing “terrorist propaganda.”
Steinmeier urged Erdogan to “end the unspeakable Nazi comparisons,” adding: “Do not cut the ties to those people who want partnership with Turkey! Respect the rule of law and the freedom of media and journalists! And release Deniz Yucel.”