Germany will keep reviewing travel advice for Turkey, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told his Turkish counterpart on Thursday, saying decisions were coordinated with the European Union and based on reliable infection data and the health situation, Reuters reported.
Turkey is disappointed that the EU has excluded it, along with the United States and others, from a list of countries deemed safe for non-essential travel. Ankara has called on the bloc to correct its “mistake.”
Speaking to reporters after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Berlin, Maas said reviews of the situation took place every two weeks. “This is about how we guarantee safe tourism in the coronavirus crisis,” said Maas, adding that the EU had taken first steps in opening up tourism.
“Further steps will follow,” he said, making clear that family visits were excluded from the travel warning. That is crucial for the community of about 3 million people with Turkish roots, but Germany is also a major source of tourism for Turkey.
Turkey has identified more than 200,000 coronavirus cases with 5,150 deaths.
Maas welcomed the latest information given him by Çavuşoğlu, including on Turkey’s use of the hydroxychloroquine drug on coronavirus patients, which has been an area of concern.
“It was clearly said that in the event of an infection in Turkey, no measures must be given against the will of the infected person,” said Maas. “This is an important advance.”
Çavuşoğlu said getting tourism going again was important also for German travel companies.” After evaluating the situation based on the objective criteria, Turkey should be listed within the safe and secure countries,” he said.