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Fewer Germans plan to visit Turkey after minister’s threats

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The number of Germans buying holiday packages in Turkey dropped significantly after Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu vowed to detain and deport tourists at airports if they are suspected of links to terrorism, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Tuesday.

Timur Bayındır, chairman of board of the Hotel Association of Turkey, revealed that in Berlin, the daily number of holiday purchases has fallen from around 1,000 to between 300 and 500.

“Business suddenly faltered when it was going well. Some tour operators have informed us that sales have tumbled,” Bayındır said.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on March 5 said it would no longer be possible to act like a traitor overseas by attending events of terrorist organizations targeting Turkey, and then come and enjoy vacation resorts in the country.

Germany on Saturday changed its travel advice for visitors to Turkey, warning its citizens that they risked arrest for expressing opinions that would be tolerated at home but may not be by Turkish authorities.

“It cannot be ruled out … that the Turkish government will take further action against representatives of German media and civil society organizations,” an updated Foreign Ministry travel advisory states.

In 2018 some 4.5 million Germans visited Turkey, making it the second largest group of tourists after Russians.

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