Turkey toughens passport control on German diplomats in retaliation for Cologne incident
ISTANBULGerman citizens with diplomatic passports have started to be investigated and searched in detail at passport control offices at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport after the deputy speaker of Turkish Parliament was temporarily held in an airport in Germany, Anadolu Agency report-ed on Dec 8.
Turkey has started to investigate Germany citizens who would like to exit or enter Turkey with a diplomatic passport intensively at Istanbul’s largest international airport, the agency reported.
German diplomats who arrive at the passport checkpoints in Ataturk Airport have been allowed to enter or exit Turkey only after going under an extensive investigation. According to the agency’s report, four German citizens missed their flights as a result of the prolonged procedure.
The implementation came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed Germany for temporarily withholding Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Ayşe Nur Bahçekapılı by airport police in Cologne. After her bag and diplomatic passport were stolen in Cologne, Bahçekapılı obtained a temporary passport from the Turkish consulate. But the airport po-lice did not let her travel with the document and kept her under custody at the police sta-tion.
Bahçekapılı and her companions were returning from Cologne to Turkey on Dec. 5. Erdoğan said on Dec. 7 the actions of the German police would have consequences if the incident was not probed.
“You take and host terrorists but you make the deputy parliamentary speaker of this country wait for hours in the airport. Shouldn’t we do the same to them? And then they call Erdoğan a dictator! I would retaliate in the same way if your police do wrong to my deputy parliamentary speaker, a female lawmaker,” he said.
Turkey summoned German Ambassador to Turkey Martin Erdmann on Dec. 7 regarding the issue.