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"The nightmare continues"

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 | World News

In the meantime, Germans are being picked up in Turkey almost every week. On Sunday, there was another couple. The background is unclear. But the Foreign Office speaks of a "nightmare".

Meanwhile the perplexity in the Foreign Office is at least as great as the indignation. If only one knew what these people were doing, the spokesman Martin Schäfer says. "We can only speculate about it." These people, he probably means the Turkish authorities Recep Tayyip Erdogan, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara. Once again German citizens were settled in Turkey on Sunday. Meanwhile, Germans were also affected, "who wanted to do nothing other than leave," Schäfer said. "The nightmare continues."

Just a little more than a week ago, a couple with Turkish roots from Rhineland-Palatinate in the resort town of Antalya was arrested. This time, it was a German couple of Turkish descent in Istanbul. They were taken into custody on Sunday. There is no official information from the Turkish side. "Unfortunately, we do not get any more," says Schäfer. However, one must assume that one of the two spouses is still held by the police. An exclusion barrier had been imposed on the second person.

"Political background"
Behind them are probably political accusations, as diplomatic circles communicated. "Since this morning, we are assuming another arrest with a political background," it said. According to this, foreign representations in Turkey are currently trying to gain access to the still incarcerated.

The spokesman for the German Foreign Office, Martin Schäfer (symbol), comments on new arrests in Turkey. (Source: dpa)

The Turkish government has repeatedly pointed out that foreigners in Turkey must abide by the local laws – and that a German passport is not a transit pass which protects against arrest. Ankara complains that the federal government does not show how serious the threat to Turkey is by putschists and terrorists. If allegations of connections to such groups were present, suspects would also be arrested with a German passport. If the accusations were weakened, they would be released.

Accusations, Germans were arrested as a pledge, Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin had rejected a few days ago indignantly. He had also assured us that innocent Germans had no danger. "If someone is not involved in suspicious activities, he has no reason to be afraid." And vice-minister-president Mehmet Simsek had said to the address of those Germans who held to the law: "Your security is guaranteed by the Turkish state, we are not a rogue."

Turkey warns against Germany travels
While Germans are behind bars in Turkey, the Turkish Foreign Ministry warns of traveling to Germany. In the "travel warning" from Ankara, it was said Saturday, Turks must be in the Federal Republic with "xenophobic and racist treatment, behavior and verbal aggressions".

About the Turkish "travel warning" one should actually smile, if one could be the face of the serious situation, Schäfer says on Monday. The German travel notes, on the other hand, were a sad reality. "We experience it day by day, week after week, just that happens."

According to the German Foreign Ministry, eleven Germans are now being held in Turkey for political accusations. Among them were the "world" correspondent Deniz Yücel, who was arrested in February because of terror accusations. He committed his 44th birthday in isolation on Sunday. There is still no charge.

Because Germans are "arbitrarily imprisoned", the federal government has already tightened the travel notes for Turkey – it advises Germans "to be more careful". Unlike Turkey, however, there is a clear difference between travel advice and travel warning in the Federal Republic. The latter is an urgent appeal by the Federal Foreign Office to refrain from traveling to a country or a region of a country – this is about an "acute threat to life and limb", such as in Syria or Afghanistan.

Germany continues to sell weapons
The Federal Government does not want to seize this sharp sword of diplomacy, even after the new incident, even if the Greens and the Left are louder and louder. "We will not allow ourselves to travel politically," Schäfer said. But if arrests and arrests became a "daily routine", it could happen.

Turkish soldiers are standing in a courtroom in Silivri near Istanbul, where journalists are charged with terror support. (Source: dpa)

But what is daily routine? How many Germans must be arrested? The Foreign Office does not want to get involved in numbers. Schäfer said: "This is not a quanitative task, but a question of political judgment on the basis of verifiable facts."

A verifiable fact on the margins: While Germans are in prison in Turkey, business with the country continues to munter. Despite the crisis with Ankara, the Federal Government has approved the export of armaments products with a total value of more than 25 million euros to Turkey since the beginning of the year.

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