Meuse and Cavusoglu on Turkey travel restrictions
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas receives his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Cavusoglu for talks on restricting travel to Turkey. Follow the press conference here again after the meeting.
Tourism in Turkey is hit hard by the federal government’s travel warning. A meeting between Foreign Minister Maas and his Turkish counterpart should help. But “my friend Heiko” was followed by criticism.
– – –
DTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu made clear in a joint press conference with Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) his displeasure with the existing EU warning against travel to Turkey. Cavusoglu traveled to Berlin accompanied by the Minister of Tourism and the Deputy Minister of Health of Turkey.
“These are political decisions. It is precisely in this area of the pandemic that science should be spoken, ”the Foreign Minister criticized the travel warning. Turkey was a safe country, he argued, and “like Germany, a leader in health.” In addition, he would have submitted extensive data to the federal government. There are some non-EU countries – he does not want to give any names – that, unlike Turkey, did not act transparently, but for which the travel warning would now be lifted.
Maas assured Turkey that the travel warning would be checked. Nevertheless, he emphasized that Germany decides in accordance with the EU. There will now be regular consultations every two weeks. The EU lifted travel warnings for several countries outside the Union this week, but Turkey was not among them.
– – – – –
Maas emphasized that the EU had taken a step towards opening up with the first lifting of travel warnings, “this step should have further consequences”. Trips to visit family members in Turkey were not covered by the warning. But it is about ensuring safe tourism in times of the pandemic. The Robert Koch Institute’s assessment is also relevant for the decision of the Federal Government.
Turkey emphasizes its own efforts
Cavusoglu said that health is also the most important thing for Turkey – “no matter what citizenship”. Turkey meets the criteria for lifting the travel warning and has submitted the relevant data. “We are ready to accept our friends from Germany.”
He emphasized the efforts of the Turkish airports and authorities. His request to “his friend Heiko”, as he addressed the German politician several times: “It is important that the travel warning is checked again.”
Tourism numbers plummeted
Turkey is particularly hard hit by travel warming as the third most popular holiday destination for Germans after Spain and Italy. As a result of the corona pandemic, tourism numbers have plummeted. Around 30,000 visitors came to the country in May, 99.26 percent less than in the same period last year, as the Ministry of Tourism announced on Monday. In the first five months of the year, the number of visitors declined by 66.35 percent compared to the same period in the previous year.
According to official information, more than five million Germans went on vacation there last year. Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors for Turkey.
– – – – –
In addition to the Corona crisis, the topics of the meeting of the two foreign ministers were the German EU Presidency, Syria and Libya. Ankara has apologized after France’s violent criticism of Turkey’s role in the Libya conflict. “France is not telling the truth to the EU and NATO.” The government in Paris is making “false claims”. His country expected “that France would apologize,” said Cavusoglu.