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German foreign minister receives cold welcome in Ankara

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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who paid an official visit to Turkey on Tuesday, was not welcomed in accordance with diplomatic protocol, apparently because of strained relations between Turkey and Germany over the former’s growing crackdown on dissidents.

According to the German Bild daily, the German delegation did not receive a diplomatic welcome at the airport, and the foreign minister’s vehicle was not allowed next to the airplane, with the result that the delegation had to take the bus to the exit just like regular passengers.

There was also no red carpet ceremony, and a German flag was not allowed on Steinmeier’s vehicle.

Bild wrote in a report on Tuesday that the “legendary Turkish hospitality” was not felt during Steinmeier’s visit to Ankara, referring to stories about Turks’ hospitality.

Ties between Turkey and Germany have become increasingly strained recently. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Germany of supporting terrorism after German authorities suggested that Berlin may not extradite suspects wanted by Turkey over a failed coup attempt in July, if it considers the cases are politically motivated. Erdoğan has also accused Berlin of failing to clamp down on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants allegedly operating in Germany.

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