Turkish Premier Erdogan meets German Chancellor Merkel

Türkiye Materials 8 February 2008 15:40 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday on the second day of his visit to Germany.

The two leaders were expected to discuss bilateral relations before answering questions posed by German and Turkish students from schools in Berlin.

The talks were also expected to touch on Sunday's fire in an apartment block in the south-western city of Ludwigshafen, which claimed the lives of nine Turkish immigrants.

Erdogan placed a wreath at the scene of the tragedy on Thursday and called for moderation in view of claims the fire may have been started deliberately.

In addition to seeking a full investigation into the blaze, Erdogan is set to lobby Merkel to drop new immigration laws that require Turkish immigrants to undergo German language tests.

Turkish officials say the new laws are discriminatory as they exempt many nationalities but not Turks.

Around 2.4 million Turks live in Germany, 1.7 million of whom have Turkish nationality.

Erdogan is also expected to push for greater action by the German authorities on activities by groups linked with the separatist Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

Following his talks with Merkel, Erdogan is due to travel to Munich where he will address a major international security conference on Saturday.