Turkey has detained two more German citizens, bringing the total to 12
NATO ally Turkey seems to be going out of its way to tweak German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Last month, Turkey arrested, among others, a German citizen, and Merkel called the move “unacceptable.”
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have been unimpressed because his government just arrested two more Germans. Merkel has now declared that “decisive action” must be taken. She does not specify what action she means, though she does threaten to “rethink” Germany’s relations with Turkey.
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said Germany should react decisively to Ankara’s detention of two further German citizens, amid growing calls for Berlin to issue a formal travel warning for Germans heading to Turkey.
Twelve German citizens are now in Turkish detention on political charges, four of them holding dual citizenship. Among these is German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who will have been in detention 200 days on Friday.
Under the circumstances, Merkel said she did not think it was appropriate to carry out further discussions with Ankara about its participation in a European Union customs union.
“We must react decisively,” Merkel told a business event in the southern city of Nuremberg, noting that Germany had already fundamentally revamped its relations with Ankara.
“Given the latest events, perhaps it is necessary to rethink them ever further.”
Turkey currently holds 12 Germans who’ve been arrested and detained for a range of offenses.
Relations between the two NATO allies have deteriorated sharply after Berlin sharply criticised Ankara over the crackdown that followed last year’s failed coup attempt.
The arrest of several German nationals, including the Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel, the Istanbul correspondent of the Die Welt daily, further frayed ties.
Yucel has now spent 200 days in Turkish custody ahead of a trial on terror charges.
German journalist Mesale Tolu has been held on similar charges since May, while human rights activist Peter Steudtner was arrested in a July raid.
Following Steudtner’s arrest, Germany vowed stinging measures impacting tourism and investment in Turkey and a full “overhaul” of their troubled relations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for his part, has also sparked outrage after charging that Germany is sheltering plotters of last year’s coup, as well as Kurdish militants and terrorists, and demanded their extradition.
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