A frozen kebab skewer weighing 60 kilos – such cargo has probably never been on board a German presidential plane on a trip abroad.

When Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier landed in Istanbul at midday in a Bundeswehr Airbus A350, he brought exactly that with him – and the snack bar owner that went with it. Arif Keles is the third generation to run his kebab shop in Berlin. Steinmeier took him and a number of other guests with him as examples of German-Turkish migration stories.

“What an honour!”

“Someone from the Federal President’s Office called me, he wanted to come over for a coffee and told me about the idea of ​​taking me on the state visit. I just thought: What an honor!” Keles told the ” Star”. After landing, he made his way to the German ambassador’s summer residence, where he plans to serve his kebab to the guests at a reception that evening. Keles is no stranger to Berlin – players from the German national soccer team have also visited him.

The fact that Keles flew in with Steinmeier along with his kebab was also a topic in the Turkish media and primarily served as a treasure trove for headlines. The newspaper “Hürriyet” wrote: “Surprise from Steinmeier: He comes to Turkey with 60 kilos of kebab.” The online portal “T24” commented: “Steinmeier’s unusual visit – kebab and more”. And in the online medium “Diken” you could read: “Kebab diplomacy: German President in Turkey.”

The sauces also come with it

Keles told the Turkish news agency Anadolu that he was grateful for the trip: “It’s very nice.” In addition to the kebab skewer, he also brought the sauces. In Turkey, kebab is often eaten in portions with rice. Different sauces that make up the kebab in flatbread in Germany are not available in Turkey.

Among the other guests was Belit Onay, son of Turkish immigrants and Green Party mayor of Hanover since 2019. Or the actor Adnan Maral, born in Eastern Anatolia, came to Germany at the age of two and grew up in Frankfurt am Main. He became known, among other things, for the early evening series “Turkish for Beginners”. Bundestag Vice President Aydan Özoguz (SPD), whose parents came from Istanbul in the early 1960s and settled as businessmen in Hamburg, also traveled to Turkey.