TURKEY’S FOREIGN MINISTER ASKS GERMANY TO REVOKE TRAVEL WARNING

Visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel to revoke the German government's travel warning for its citizens headed to Turkey.

"The last warning that we have seen does not reflect the reality in Turkey and the state of bilateral relations," Cavusoglu said during a Tuesday meeting on the first day of his visit to Berlin.

The German Foreign Office issued a warning to its citizens last July over a risk of arbitrary arrest throughout Turkey, following the detention of German rights activist Peter Steudtner.

He has subsequently been released. In 2016, Turkey saw a sharp decline in European tourists, especially Germans, following terrorist attacks, a failed coup attempt and bilateral tensions.

Gabriel said a repeal of the travel warning would depend on changes to Turkey's security situation.

"Turkey will soon or later want to return to normal security conditions. That will automatically have an impact on our travel warning," said Gabriel, who is thought unlikely to continue in office after a new coalition cabinet is announced in the coming days.

Despite the impasse over the travel warning, there are signs that relations between Berlin and Ankara are on the mend.

Cavusoglu also said he wanted to "turn over new pages" and described Gabriel as his "revered friend.

"This is Cavusoglu's third visit in two months.

He was last in Germany when Deniz Yucel, a German-Turkish correspondent for Die Welt newspaper, was released after about a year in Turkish prison.

The Turkish diplomat will attend one of the world's leading travel fairs, the ITB in Berlin on Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced last week.

The talks also covered the demand made by Turkey yesterday that Germany arrest and extradite Saleh Muslim, a Syrian-Kurdish political leader.

Turkey accuses Muslim, who attended a demonstration over the weekend in Berlin against Ankara's military offensive in the Kurdish-enclave Afrin, of being a terrorist.

Gabriel said only that the case would be checked thoroughly and a decision would be made in accordance with legal criteria.

Cavusoglu was last in Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference two weeks ago.

In January he visited Gabriel in his home town of Goslar in the central Harz region.

Berlin says four of its citizens are still in Turkish custody for political reasons.

ITB runs from Wednesday until March 11. Turkish Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus is also expected to attend the fair.

Source: NAM News Network