Germany warns against Turkey travel after spate of detentions
BERLIN - Reuters
Germany's foreign ministry has warned its citizens travelling to Turkey that they risk arbitrary detention even in tourist areas, revising its travel advice after a spate of detentions of German citizens that it considers politically motivated.
The change in travel advice, issued on Sept. 5, marks a new low in relations between the NATO allies and is a blow for the tourist sector, which has already been hit by militant attacks and the fall-out from last year's failed coup attempt in the country.
The trigger for the sharpening of the travel advice was the detention at the southern Antalya Airport last week of two Germans, one of whom has since been released. Berlin believes they, like 11 others, were detained for political reasons.
"There is a risk of similar detentions in all parts of Turkey, including in tourist regions," the new advice reads. It falls short of a formal travel warning, issued for war-afflicted countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or Yemen, which would make obtaining travel insurance harder.
"We can't take from tourists the decision whether to travel or not," Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.
"But we have described in detail what you should be aware of before you go."