Turkey, Germany and the West

Turkey, Germany and the West

Turkey, Germany and the West

"Chancellor Merkel considers that the measures announced by the foreign minister on Turkey in the light of recent events are necessary and inevitable", German Government Spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter.

Gabriel said Germany would review state guarantees for foreign investment in Turkey and urge businesses not to put their money there, and also reconsider its support for billions in European Union financial flows earmarked over coming years for the long-time aspirant to membership of the bloc.

The German government summoned Turkey's ambassador on Wednesday to demand the release of a jailed trainer of human rights activists, and said the foreign minister was interrupting his vacation for consultations on relations with Ankara.

He suggested Gabriel's remarks were meant to win votes at national elections in two months. "Sending a message. (to Germans) telling them that it's not safe to travel to Turkey is a great political irresponsibility", presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said.

The six rights activists are among 50,000 people who are held in prison pending trial in Turkey, arrested following a failed coup d'etat that resulted in the deaths of at least 265 people last July.

Gabriel recalled that Turkey, having long seen itself as "a member of the European family", had levelled Nazi jibes at Germany, and accused Erdogan of worsening a crisis that Berlin had repeatedly sought to ease through dialogue.

"It takes two to tango!" he said.

"In this environment it is hard to think about German companies making new investments in Turkey", Volker Treier, DIHK foreign trade chief, told Reuters.

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Gabriel called the detention of six human rights activists in Turkey "well-planned steps", describing accusations against them as "unfounded and far-fetched".

"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".

The dispute came after Germany last month pulled out 260 troops from Turkey's Incirlik base, from where a multinational coalition is fighting the Islamic State jihadist group, and redeployed them and their Tornado surveillance jets to Jordan.

In turn, Mehmet Simsek, Turkey's deputy prime minister, said in a tweet that the country welcomes German investors.

Die Welt's publisher, WeltN24 GmbH, said it filed a complaint Tuesday to the Constitutional Court in Ankara against Yucel's continued imprisonment and violation of its press freedom in the case.

The continued detention of human rights activist and German national Peter Steudtner, along with nine other activists, and Ankara's refusal to address German concerns over the arrest, is only the latest in a series of tensions between the two countries. "It must be clear to him that he is isolating Turkey politically and damaging it economically". "Today's remarks by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel were the latest and an unacceptable example of this one-sided distorted approach", the ministry said. "The most absurd things are possible", said Gabriel.

Turkey has frequently complained that the PKK and the Gulen movement, named terrorist organizations in Turkey, are given free rein to operate in Germany.

"Foreign ministry sites are not always informed in a timely manner about the detention of German citizens, and access to consular services is not always ensured", it added.

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