November 2, 2015 / 7:04 PM / 3 years ago

Merkel congratulates Turkish PM on election victory

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday to congratulate him on election victory and urged swift joint action to deal with the migrant crisis, a government spokesman said.

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during a news conference at his ruling AK Party (AKP) headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, July 13, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

The Islamist-rooted AK Party swept to an unexpected victory in elections on Sunday, returning Turkey to single-party rule and boosting the power of President Tayyip Erdogan.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel welcomed the fact that the elections were peaceful and that Davutoglu promised in his victory speech that he wanted to overcome polarization and tensions in Turkish society.

“The German chancellor and the Turkish prime minister also agreed that the bilateral dialogue on stemming the flood of refugees must be continued and swiftly lead to concrete agreements,” Seibert said.

Germany alone is expecting between 800,000 and one million migrants this year, twice as many as in any previous year. Many have passed through Turkey en route to Europe.

During a visit in Istanbul last month, Merkel offered Turkey the prospect of support for faster progress in its bid to join the EU in return for cooperation in stemming the flow of migrants and taking back those rejected by Europe.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Andrew Roche

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