A visit by Tayyip Erdogan to Cologne on Saturday to address thousands of expatriate Turks threatens to bring Turkey's political tensions to German streets, despite an appeal by Chancellor Angela Merkel for him to adopt a sensitive tone.
Some German lawmakers are concerned by what they see as Erdogan's inflammatory language and authoritarian behavior in dealing with demonstrations and in handling a corruption scandal that touched on former ministers. His expected candidacy in August presidential elections could further raise passions.
Erdogan typically addresses a mass audience of expatriate Turks when visiting Germany. They are rousing patriotic affairs with thousands waving the Turkish flag. In 2008 he caused uproar by warning Germany's largest minority against assimilation.