Germany's president urged Turks and Germans Tuesday to see they "are closely connected" as he sought to ease a simmering debate on whether Berlin had failed in efforts to integrate Muslim immigrants.

"We have to realise that we are closely connected," Christian Wulff, the first German president to visit Turkey in a decade, told reporters after talks with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul.

"We are old friends.... The things that connect us are much more than the things that keep us apart," he said.

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