'Bad Joke!' Top Merkel Aide Blasts Turkey's Travel Advisory For Germany

Frederick Owens
September 12, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel commented on the announcement of the Turkish foreign ministry according to which official Ankara warned its citizens about traveling to Germany, Deutsche Welle reports.

Before Monday's news of additional arrests, 10 Germans were in detention in Turkey, including German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who has been held for over 200 days. No journalists are put into detention here.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, campaigning for a September 24 general election, dismissed the advisory, saying Germany stood for "freedom of speech and the rule of law".

"We will not be drawn into using travel guidance in a political manner", Schaefer said, adding that continued random arrests by Turkey of German citizens could force Berlin to issue such a warning.

Other strains include local German authorities' refusal earlier this year to allow rallies by Turkish politicians ahead of a referendum on the Turkish president's powers.

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According to the German Foreign Office, Yucil is one of at least 10 Germans now detained in Turkey on political charges. It wants Germany to leave the euro area and end "unregulated mass immigration", for which it blames Merkel after a record influx of refugees on her watch in 2015. Merkel's spokesman later confirmed the chancellor's intention of bringing up the issue at an October summit of European Union leaders. "It can hit anyone who thinks about entering Turkey". Berlin responded with a call on Erdogan not to "meddle".

Schaefer said those travelling to Turkey should be aware of the potential dangers, but said Berlin had no immediate plans to issue a formal travel warning.

"Since the attempted coup in July 2016, an increasing number of German nationals have been indiscriminately jailed", the Foreign Office wrote.

The German Foreign Office says it issues official travel warnings only when "every German would be threatened by an acute danger for life and limb in a specific country, as is now the case in Syria or Iraq".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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