German minister: Turkey is acting like former Communist East Germany

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German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday compared Turkey with the former East Germany in the wake of the growing number of arbitrary arrests in the country, the German Bild daily has reported.

Schaeuble’s remarks came after six human rights activists, including Amnesty International’s (AI) Turkey Director İdil Eser and German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner, who were detained on July 5 during a workshop at a hotel on İstanbul’s Büyükada, were arrested by an İstanbul court on Tuesday.

Warning Germans against the risks of traveling to Turkey, which he thought was acting like the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), Schaeuble said: “Turkey now makes arbitrary arrests and no longer sticks to minimum consular standards. That reminds me of how it was in the GDR.”

Schaeuble said when people used to travel to the former East Germany, they knew that “if something happens to you, no one can help you.”

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday that his country is being forced to reorient its Turkey policy, showing signs of growing impatience and disappointment after the detention of rights defenders on terror charges, which, Gabriel argued, was “obviously unfounded and have simply been dragged out irrationally.”

Germany is planning to review European Union negotiations with Turkey and will also review export guarantees to German companies investing in Turkey due to the lack of “legal security” in the country.

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