Turkey is­sues travel ad­vi­sory for Ger­many

The Daily News Egypt - - Politics -

DW—The Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry cau­tioned its cit­i­zens to take care in Ger­many dur­ing the elec­tion cy­cle. The travel ad­vi­sory comes amid a wors­en­ing of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the NATO al­lies.

The Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry is­sued a travel ad­vi­sory for Ger­many on Satur­day, warn­ing Turks of an up­swing in anti-Turk­ish sen­ti­ment ahead of the Ger­man national elec­tion later this month.

In July, Ger­many cau­tioned its cit­i­zens about trav­el­ing to Turkey af­ter a se­ries of ar­rests in­volv­ing Ger­man na­tion­als, but the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry stopped short of an out­right travel warn­ing. This week, the min­istry in­ten­si­fied its travel guide­lines for Turkey.

“The political lead­er­ship cam­paigns in Ger­many are based on anti-Turk­ish sen­ti­ment and prevent­ing our coun­try’s EU mem­ber­ship.The political at­mos­phere... has ac­tu­ally been un­der the ef­fects of far-right and even racist rhetoric for some time,” the Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry said in a state­ment.

“Turk­ish cit­i­zens who live in,or who plan to travel to, Ger­many should be cau­tious and act pru­dently in cases of pos­si­ble in­ci­dents, be­hav­ior or ver­bal as­saults of xeno­pho­bia and racism,” the state­ment added.

Turkey has ac­cused Ger­many of as­sist­ing ter­ror­ists by not re­spond­ing to files sent to Berlin and fail­ing to hand over sus­pects wanted by Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties for an al­leged role in the 2016 failed coup at­tempt.

‘No, Er­do­gan, Ger­many is not an­tiTurk­ish’

Ger­man politi­cians across the political spec­trum de­cried Ankara’s travel warn­ing, call­ing into ques­tion the state of free­dom of speech and hu­man rights in Turkey.

Martin Schulz, the So­cial Democrats (SPD) chan­cel­lor can­di­date for the up­com­ing elec­tion, harshly crit­i­cised the Turk­ish govern­ment’s lat­est move.

“The re­la­tion­ship be­tween Turkey and Ger­many must not develop in the man­ner that the govern­ment in­Ankara is ob­vi­ously and sys­tem­at­i­cally push­ing for­ward,” Schulz said on the side­lines of a cam­paign event in the city of Mainz.

“Ger­many is not a coun­try that can ac­cept such in­dig­nity fromTurkey,” he added.

Cem Özdemir, one of the two top Greens party can­di­dates, ad­dressed Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan in a mes­sage on Twit­ter, writ­ing: “No, Er­do­gan, Ger­many is not anti-Turk­ish.We fight for free­dom of speech – in our mar­ket places and ev­ery­where else.”

Peter Tauber, the sec­re­tary gen­eral of Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s Chris­tian Democrats (CDU), fired back at Ankara in a post on Twit­ter.

“Is Er­do­gan warn­ing about trav­el­ing to Ger­many so that the peo­ple there don’t see how free­dom, jus­tice and open-mind­ed­ness make a coun­try strong?” Tauber wrote. ‘Ter­ror­ists walk the streets’

In its travel ad­vi­sory,Turkey told its cit­i­zens that Ger­many wel­comes ter­ror­ist groups, such as the Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Party (PKK) and the net­work of the US-based Is­lamic cleric Fethul­lah Gulen.

Ter­ror­ists “walk freely on the streets” of Ger­many, the Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry al­leged. It warned that Turk­ish cit­i­zens were be­ing ill­treated at Ger­man air­ports and that racist ar­son­ists had lit fires in­Turk­ish­pop­u­lated ar­eas.

Fol­low­ing the failed 2016 coup, the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing rule of law in Turkey has prompted Ger­many to call for an end to Ankara’s bid to en­ter the Euro­pean Union, although EU for­eign min­is­ters shrugged off the idea at a meet­ing on Fri­day, in­stead stress­ing the need for di­a­logue.

About 3 mil­lion peo­ple of Turk­ish ori­gin live in Ger­many.

Re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries plum­meted af­ter a se­ries of diplo­matic crises.Turkey was en­raged by Ger­many grant­ing asy­lum to Turks wanted by Ankara and by its bar­ring of Turk­ish political ral­lies in Ger­many.

Ger­many was dis­traught at Turkey’s re­fusal to let Ger­man law­mak­ers visit Ger­man sol­diers sta­tioned in Turkey and its ar­rest of sev­eral Ger­man cit­i­zens. And there is grow­ing con­cern among EU na­tions that Turkey is slid­ing away from democ­racy un­der Er­do­gan’s rule fol­low­ing a failed coup last year.

About 50,000 peo­ple have been jailed and about 150,000 have lost their jobs as a re­sult of a crack­down fol­low­ing the coup, while scores of news out­lets have been shut down.

Peter Tauber, the sec­re­tary gen­eral of Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s Chris­tian Democrats (CDU), fired back at Ankara in a post on Twit­ter

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