Merkel ridicules Turkey’s travel warning: No journalists arrested in Germany

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers her speech as she attends an electoral meeting in Delbrueck, western Germany, on September 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / dpa / Friso Gentsch / Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday mocked a travel warning issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry for citizens visiting Germany, bringing to mind the rule of law and freedoms in Germany, Deutsche Welle reported.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning on Saturday for citizens visiting Germany, saying there has been anti-Turkish and racist rhetoric by German politicians during campaigns for the upcoming elections, also adding that Berlin has been supporting terrorist groups.

“No journalists have been arrested or detained in our country [Germany]. Freedom of expression and the principle of the rule of law are respected here. We are proud of that,” Merkel said during an election campaign in Delbrück, adding: “I would like to clearly say that all Turkish citizens can visit our county.”

In a statement from its website, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said there is an increasing number of cases of xenophobia in Germany, especially against Turkish citizens.

According to the statement, several Turkish citizens were badly treated by German authorities at German airports upon their arrival in the country, including deliberately long wait times, questioning and rude behavior.

It also added that there have been no developments in a trial concerning the neo-Nazi murder of eight Turks in Germany committed by the National Socialist Underground (NSU) between 2000 and 2007.

The foreign ministry also accused Germany of supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkish authorities of masterminding a failed coup last year.

Ankara’s ties with Berlin deteriorated rapidly especially after the failed coup since Turkey accused Germany of harboring people linked to the Gülen movement who fled a government witch-hunt back home.

The ties became further strained after Turkey put several German citizens, including journalists and human rights defenders, in pretrial detention.

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