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Germany warns against travel to Turkey

21 July 2017, 12:58 | Gina Pena

Germany warns against travel to Turkey

Germany warns against travel to Turkey

In a press conference in Berlin, he said, "We have to be clearer than before, so the authorities in Ankara understand that their policies are not without consequences." .

Gabriel said, from now on, his government would not be in a position to encourage German businesspeople to invest in Turkey, and would not provide investment guarantees for German companies.

And as tensions reach breaking point, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert revealed European Union aid payments to Turkey are now under threat. The government offers such guarantees to insure exports to many countries, but Gabriel said that "you can not advise anyone to invest in a country if there is no longer legal security".

The moves mark a further escalation of tensions between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Germany and Turkey, who are at loggerheads over a wide range of issues.

Germany is furious because Steudtner has no previous links to Turkey and yet he was accused of links to terror, which Berlin says are far-fetched.

The German government increased pressure on Turkey Thursday after the jailing of a human rights activist, telling all citizens traveling there to exercise caution and threatening to withhold backing for German investments in Turkey.

The German foreign ministry on Thursday warned its citizens to be more careful in travelling to Turkey, citing recent detentions of people there, and Ankara's refusal to grant consular access in some cases, in violation of worldwide law. "But it takes two to tango".

News weekly Die Zeit said Ankara's blacklist also includes large German companies such as Daimler and BASF, claims dismissed as "absurd" by German security sources.

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"It is appalling to accuse Amnesty and other rights organisations of terrorism", the German foreign ministry said in a statement. "It must be clear to him that he is isolating Turkey politically and damaging it economically".

In turn, Mehmet Simsek, Turkey's deputy prime minister, said in a tweet that the country welcomes German investors.

In its statement, Germany's BGA exporters association added that "we must expect significant declines in exports if the measures under consideration are implemented" but that would not pose a major problem for German foreign trade as a whole.

"There is no official offer of a swap", Gabriel said.

The continued detention of human rights activist and German national Peter Steudtner, along with nine other activists, and Ankara's refusal to address German concerns over the arrest, is only the latest in a series of tensions between the two countries.

Following the failed attempt to overthrow the government, Turkey has cracked down on people suspected of being affiliated with US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused of being behind the failed coup.

His ministry issued a travel guidance, telling travelers "Foreign ministry sites are not always informed in a timely manner about the detention of German citizens, and access for consular services is not always ensured".

However, the Turkish Foreign Ministry accused Germany of putting those "on trial and German guests, who come to our country as tourists, on the same scale". It added that the relations between the two countries should be conducted based on worldwide norms and principles not by blackmail and threats, urging Germany to understand Turkey's expectations in the fight against terror and security and evaluate the common interests with a strategic vision.

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