Merkel criticizes turkish “travel warning”

Merkel criticizes turkish 'travel warning'

A "travel warning" issued by the turkish government for germany has further fueled the crisis with ankara and provoked criticism from german chancellor angela merkel.

"I also want to say very clearly here: any turkish citizen can travel to us," merkel said at an election campaign appearance on sunday in delbruck in westphalia. "With us no journalist is arrested, no journalist is put in custody under investigation, with us freedom of opinion and the rule of law prevail. And we are proud of that",

The turkish government had issued a "travel warning for the federal republic of germany" on saturday. In it, the turkish auben ministry calls on turks living in or traveling to germany to "exercise caution". The step was allowed to be a return carriage for the tightening of the travel advice of the foreign office for turkey in the past week.

However, ankara’s declaration has mainly a symbolic character, whereas in germany there is a clear distinction between travel advice and travel warning. An explicit warning from the foreign office will make it easier, for example, to cancel vacations booked to the affected country. In germany on sunday, green and left-wing parties demanded an official travel warning from the foreign office for turkey.

The auben ministry in ankara warns turks of "probable xenophobic and racist treatment, behavior and verbal attacks" in germany. You should "not get involved in political debates". Turks should stay away from election rallies of political parties and from places where rallies or demonstrations took place "organized or supported by terrorist organizations and tolerated by the german authorities".

In its "travel warning," the turkish ministry of foreign affairs also complains that turkish citizens entering germany were "arbitrarily stalled, questioned and treated disrespectfully" by security and customs authorities. Parts of ankara’s declaration seem to be based on the travel advice of the foreign office.

The foreign office advises germans "to exercise increased caution" in turkey. "Since the attempted coup in july 2016, an increasing number of german nationals have been arbitrarily detained in turkey," the travel advisory states. "It is strongly discouraged to make political statements in public against the turkish state or to express sympathy with terrorist organizations"."This also applies to "criticism of the government on the internet and in social media".

According to the foreign office, at least ten germans are currently being detained on political charges in turkey. Among them is "welt" correspondent deniz yucel, who celebrated his 44th birthday on sunday. Birthday. Yucel was remanded in custody in february on terror charges, but has not yet been charged with anything. Merkel said to yucel: "in our opinion, he is sitting in prison completely unfoundedly."

According to its own information, the foreign office only issues travel warnings "if there is an acute danger to life and limb for every german in a particular country, as is the case in syria or iraq at the moment. A travel warning is an urgent appeal by the foreign office to refrain from traveling to a country or region of a country. Germans living there are urged to leave the country."

A travel warning for turkey had serious consequences: although turkey is no longer as popular among german tourists as it was before the crisis, after the russians, bundesburgers still make up the largest group of vacationers in the country. According to the ministry of tourism in ankara, more than 680,000 germans visited turkey this year until the end of july. Turkey attracts last-minute holidaymakers from the federal republic with its favorable prices.

The travel warning did not only have an impact on tourism: german companies could hardly send representatives to turkey when the foreign office was explicitly warned against it. It is also unclear whether and how german insurers were still insuring bundesburgers in turkey under these circumstances. Thousands of germans living temporarily or permanently in turkey have had to decide whether to comply with the request to leave the country.

The turkish aube ministry is not calling for people to leave germany – which would be unrealistic in view of the fact that there are almost three million people with turkish roots in germany. Although the "travel warning" is apparently a political manover. Nevertheless, turks in germany are actually complaining about growing xenophobia and turkophobia. German turks also criticize being held jointly responsible for the policies of president recep tayyip erdogan – regardless of their own political stance.