Berlin to change policy towards Turkey as German citizen is held

Berlin to change policy towards Turkey as German citizen is held

Separately on Thursday, Turkey denounced Germany for its statements demanding the release of Peter Steudtner, a German human rights activist.

"Our relations can not be pursued based on blackmail and threats but through internationally accepted norms and principles", the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, accusing German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel of a "one-sided and distorted approach".

It is extremely hard for German companies to make investments in Turkey under the current political climate in the country, German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said on Thursday.

Idil Eser, the state director of Amnesty International, and five other human rights campaigners were seized this week.

There is also a separate investigation on charges of "financing terrorism" and "spying", Anadolu Agency reports.

"Certainly we couldn't have accepted the deal", Germany's foreign ministry said.

German-Turkish relations have been souring for over a year, particularly since last July's coup attempt in Turkey. "We have no other choice - because we are responsible for the protection of the citizens of our country - but to adapt our travel and safety advisory to Turkey and let Germans know what can happen to them when they travel to Turkey". Chancellor Angela Merkel was key in pressing for the accord with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan under which Turkey keeps mainly Syrian refugees in the country in return for billions of euros in aid and progress toward European Union membership.

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Last week's one-year anniversary was marked with a series of events and stunts, which Mr Erdogan used to rail against opponents and warn citizens there were still traitors in their midst.

The announcement marks a further deterioration of increasingly strained relations between the two countries.

The foreign ministry had issued a separate statement calling for the rapid release of the six activists. The travel sector contributes about $30 billion to the economy in a normal year. Gabriel also said he doesn't see how the government can continue guaranteeing companies' investments in Turkey in the absence of "legal security" and will have to consider what it does about export guarantees.

The tit-for-tat escalation underscores what Turkey called a "serious crisis of confidence" with Germany that threatens to harm trading ties worth more than $36 billion past year.

"You certainly can't advise any companies to take on investments in this climate", said the BGA.

"They should know that those threats and blackmails will not find correspondence in Turkey", he said, adding that threats over cancelling Customs Union talks and funds did not comply with the standards of worldwide relations. By contrast, Turkish exports to Germany of some $14 billion made it the No. 1 destination for foreign sales, ahead of the U.K., Italy then Iraq.

"Persons traveling to Turkey for private or business reasons are advised to be more cautious and to register, even for short stays, on the crisis list of German consulates", the ministry said.

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