Turkey issues travel warning for Turkish citizens in Germany

Turkey cautions citizens about travel to Germany

Turkey on Saturday asked citizens to be "cautious" in Germany and stay away from political gatherings ahead of this month's election, as tensions ratcheted between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. Some German nationals have also been targeted. This week, the ministry intensified its travel guidelines for Turkey.

"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. Ankara says Germany is deliberately supporting Turkish dissent, especially those who have played a role in the July 15, 2016 coup.

"That will help everyone see your real face", he added, recalling German Chancellor Angela Merkel's statement that Berlin will ask other European Union leaders to either suspend or end Turkish accession process in October.

"We were received by high-ranking officials and the Turkish side was visibly eager to reduce tensions", Social Democrat (SPD) MP Rainer Arnold told AFP news agency before boarding the plane to return to Berlin. "It is extremely important to keep this predictable relationship with Turkey, based on mutual respect towards each other", Szijjarto added. "We fight for freedom of speech - in our market places and everywhere else".

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Comments made Sunday by German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not improve matters.

Ankara further charged that Germany welcomes terrorist groups, naming the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the network of the US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. It warned that Turkish citizens were being ill-treated at German airports and that racist arsonists had lit fires in Turkish-populated areas.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius also turned down recent calls by German politicians to end Turkey's European Union talks, and warned that such a move could have counterproductive consequences. Germany is home to about 3 million people of Turkish origin.

Among the reasons for strained relations between Ankara and Berlin is the refusal earlier this year by local German authorities to allow rallies by Turkish politicians ahead of a referendum on the Turkish president's powers. Germany's military is under parliamentary control and lawmakers insist they must be able to freely visit their soldiers wherever they serve. More than 50,000 people have been detained and 150,000 suspended in the crackdown, including journalists and opposition figures.

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