Top Turkish, German officials meet in Berlin to talk safe tourism
Top Turkish and German tourism and economic officials met in Berlin on Thursday to discuss ways to promote safe and reliable travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Twitter, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Turkey’s culture and tourism minister, shared a photo of their meeting at the German Federal Economic Affairs and Energy Ministry.
Ersoy and İbrahim Kalın, Turkey’s presidential spokesman, were present at the meeting with German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, Federal Government Commissioner for Tourism Thomas Bareiss, and other senior officials.
The meeting comes in the wake of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s video call earlier this month with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Speaking to the press at the Turkish Embassy in Berlin, Ersoy said he and the German officials discussed using coronavirus PCR tests while traveling from Germany to Turkey.
“I think we can make this clear on Monday,” he added.
“Practices in Europe must be valid in Turkey. This is our view,” said Ersoy.
On the EU travel passes meant to facilitate safe free movement inside the bloc during the coronavirus, Ersoy said Turkey is working to be part of this system.
“Officials of the Turkish and German health ministries are talking about this today,” he said, adding that Turkey is preparing as if almost all practices in Germany will be valid in Turkey.
“All will become clear this week. We will harmonize Turkey with their [Germany’s] decisions,” he added.
Saying that Turkey is in the best position in terms of price satisfaction compared to other holiday destinations in Europe such as Spain, Italy, and Greece, Ersoy added: “Is Turkey a cheap country? No, it is not such a cheap country. But it is a country with a very high price satisfaction ratio.”
“Germans are aware of this,” he said. “We think that there will be a rapid flow (of tourists) to Turkey after the necessary safety for traveling is ensured.”
Turkey has long been a top destination for German holidaymakers, but the number of German tourists visiting the country fell sharply last year due to virus-related travel restrictions and quarantine measures.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said earlier this month that they were discussing various steps with Ankara to facilitate travel in a responsible way, while maintaining necessary measures against COVID-19.