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Martin Schulz calls for ultimatum to Turkey

Saturday, August 26th, 2017 | World News

Chancellor candidate Martin Schulz calls on the federal government to fight harder for the release of the Germans imprisoned in Turkey. Ankara must be given a deadline, according to the SPD politician.

"We should set a deadline for the Turkish president," said Schulz of the "Rheinische Post". "If Mr Erdogan does not immediately release the German prisoners, the EU must break the negotiations with Turkey on an extension of the customs union with Turkey."

This would hit the country hard, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not seem to understand any other language. EU accession aid would also have to be stopped. There has been a customs union between the EU and Turkey since 1996. The Turkish government has a great interest in expanding it.

  Gabriel warns Turkey travelers
Finally, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) had warned indirectly before traveling to Turkey. When asked if he would recommend German citizens to go on holiday in Turkey, Gabriel had replied: "You can not do it with a clear conscience at the time." At the same time, he emphasized: "We can not take the decision as a state."

A Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasized on Friday that despite the public advice from Gabriel, the ministry did not prepare a formal travel warning for Turkey. However, the recently tightened travel notes would be continually updated. She stressed that Gabriel had not put the word "warning" into his mouth in his interview with the "Bild" newspaper.

 However, Gabriel's statement was obviously understood as a travel warning by some citizens. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that demand has increased since then. Background of Gabriel's concerns are the tense political situation in Turkey and the recent arrests of Germans in the holiday country.

Sharp sounds from Ankara
The Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, accused Gabriel of ransacking Friday, according to the state news agency Anadolu, advising him "to take care of his own affairs". Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu stressed the importance of German-Turkish relations in Warsaw, and advised Germany to take care in its relations with Turkey. Populism before the election is of no use to anyone.

The Foreign Office warns against traveling to a country only if "there is an acute danger to life and limb", for example, because there is war or the abduction risk for foreigners is very high. The warnings contain an urgent appeal to refrain from traveling to this country. Travel warnings are rarely pronounced. For example, Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan are being warned.

As far as security is concerned, Turkey plays in a different league than these countries. There have been terrorist attacks on tourists in front of Hagia Sophia and Istanbul Airport. But tourists were also victims of Islamic terrorists in France, Great Britain, Spain and Germany.

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