Economic pressure on Turkey ‘working,’ German FM Gabriel says
BERLINEconomic pressure on Turkey “is working,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said, commenting on ongoing tensions between Berlin and Ankara.
The German Foreign Ministry on July 20 toughened its travel warning on Turkey and warned German companies about investing in the country after human rights activist Peter Steudtner was arrested.
Gabriel, who has been a staunch supporter of tougher stances against Turkey, said Berlin “has to protect its citizens and cannot allow German citizens to be imprisoned.”
“We must protect our citizens. We can’t allow Turkish President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan to simply imprison German citizens,” told Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, according to Deutsche Welle’s Turkish service.
As well as Steudtner, German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel was arrested in February on terror charges, which also contributed to the rift between Berlin and Ankara.
Gabriel also commented on reports that Turkey gave Berlin a list of companies it was targeting for suspected links to last year’s coup attempt, which had stirred controversy in Germany.
“We have responded and warned German companies before investing in Turkey. And what happened? There was a broad debate in Turkish society. Then Erdoğan declared that the company list issue was the result of a single misunderstanding,” he said.