Turkey's Erdogan defends German soccer players

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrapped up a three-day trip to Germany on Saturday visit to the western city of Cologne, where he inaugurated one of Europe's biggest mosques.

"However, the fluctuation in the economy, which doesn't reflect the reality in our country causes challenges to be more apparent", he added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday she and the leaders of Turkey, Russia, and France planned to hold a summit next month on the situation in war-ravaged Syria.

It was also believed that a simple visit of Mr. Erdogan "is not sufficient to normalise relations".

"Both sides are willing to move forward, out of the stalemate", Ilke Toygur, analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid, told AFP.

Erdogan said Turkey's economy was overcoming what he described as "midnight operations" created to break it.

Relations were further strained after he was put under house arrest and Washington's decision to impose sanctions on two Turkish ministers, and double steel and aluminium tariffs in August, sparking a dramatic fall in the value of the Turkish lira.

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He noted that Turkey lifted the state of emergency following the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections in the country.

Relations between the two nations have deteriorated over allegations of serious human rights abuses committed by Ankara in the wake of a failed coup attempt in 2016.

"The visit's first achievement is that it took place".

Erdogan faced criticism at a state dinner Friday from President Frank-Walter Steinmeier over arrests of journalists, trade unionists and academics in a crackdown after a failed coup past year.

A report by Germany-based broadcaster Deutsche Welle Turkey cited German government officials as saying Erdogan had not delivered a list.

For many in Germany, the opening of the Cologne mosque was a missed opportunity, with the Turkish president preferring the chance to bask in the limelight rather than promoting cross-community harmony.