The Latest on the Turkish president’s trip to Germany (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is speaking at the inauguration of a mosque under heavy security as he winds up a visit to Germany.

Erdogan supporters gather in a street near the new central mosque to catch a sight of the Turkish president in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on a three-day official state visit to Germany. At the end of his visit he will open one of Europe’s biggest mosque in Cologne. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Thousands of police secured the area Saturday around the mosque in Cologne, after a demonstration outside the complex by supporters was barred by police for security reasons. Hundreds of anti-Erdogan demonstrators gathered at a separate area.

The mosque visit follows a state banquet Friday that many German opposition politicians skipped.

Special police with a machine gun is pictured on a roof near the new central mosque in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on a three-day official state visit to Germany. At the end of his visit he will open one of Europe’s biggest mosque in Cologne. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Guests heard Erdogan reject criticism about the arrests of journalists, lawyers and union officials that followed a failed coup in Turkey.

He said: “It is not our job to protect terrorists.”

Erdogan supporters gather in a street near the new central mosque, to catch a sight of the Turkish president in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on a three-day official state visit to Germany. At the end of his visit he will open one of Europe’s biggest mosque in Cologne. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

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1:15 p.m.

A woman waves a Turkish flag in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on a three-day official state visit to Germany. At the end of his visit he will open one of Europe’s biggest mosque in Cologne. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Hundreds of people have gathered in the German city of Cologne to protest against a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan is due to open a mosque which was built by a group with ties to Turkey in the city on Saturday.

Erdogan supporters gather in a street near the new central mosque, to catch a sight of the Turkish president in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on a three-day official state visit to Germany. At the end of his visit he will open one of Europe’s biggest mosque in Cologne. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Several thousand people also demonstrated against Erdogan in Berlin on Friday night.

Erdogan is in Germany for a visit aimed at reducing tensions between the two NATO allies. He had breakfast with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Saturday.

Germany and Turkey have clashed over numerous issues in recent years, including Turkey’s jailing of German journalists. The rhetoric escalated to the point where Erdogan called Germany’s mainstream parties “enemies of Turkey” and accused German officials of acting like Nazis, prompting Merkel to condemn his comments.

Source: The Associated Press

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