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Merkel to pay farewell visit to Turkey on Oct. 16

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Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pay a farewell visit to İstanbul on Oct. 16 before she leaves office, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

Merkel will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during her visit.

The 67-year-old Merkel, whose conservatives lost in the Sept. 26 election to the center-left Social Democrats, did not run in the elections. Having served as chancellor since 2005, Merkel will leave the office after a coalition government is established in the country.

Despite receiving criticism from German opposition parties, Merkel refrained from taking a harsh stance against the authoritarian policies of Erdoğan. She maintained constant dialogue with Erdoğan, visiting Turkey 11 times over the course of her tenure. She focused on finding ways to cooperate with him in turbulent times and repeatedly underlined the importance of having channels of communication open in order to ease tensions in the eastern Mediterranean and seek solutions to the conflicts in Syria and Libya.

Merkel also paid farewell visits to Italy and the Vatican.

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