President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will inaugurate the Cologne Central Mosque on Sept. 29, during his official visit to Germany, according to the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB).
According to Deutsche Welle, Erdoğan will travel to Cologne after his visit to Berlin. Cologne is home to a significant Turkish population. He will inaugurate the mosque on the last day of his Germany visit.During his visit to Germany, Erdoğan will also address the Turkish Diaspora in Germany, and meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel twice.
Erdoğan and Merkel will attend a business dinner on Sept. 28 and hold bilateral talks the following day.
After the meeting with Merkel, Erdoğan will attend a reception hosted by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.The mosque was designed by Paul Böhm, known for his extraordinary modern architectures. The mosque was originally opened to the public in 2017, but its official opening was postponed. Turkey and Germany ties soured over the last one-and-a-half years over a series of issues, including the PKK terrorist organization and Gülenist Terror Group's (FETÖ) presence in Germany. The relationship saw heated debates and a number of ultimatums.
However, the two countries have been in a normalization process for some time now, particularly after the U.S. economic attacks on Turkey.
In relation to the issue, Merkel said that Germany would like to see an economically prosperous Turkey. Accordingly, numerous visits have taken place to revive bilateral relations. German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass met Erdoğan and his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Turkey on Sept. 5-6, giving positive messages to cooperate closely in the future.
Mass on Sept. 10 said that Germany wants to normalize its relations with Turkey because there are more than 3 million Turks living in Germany.