German minister compares Turkey to former East Germany, to review weapons sale

| Updated: Jul 22, 2017 03:02 IST

Berlin [Germany], July 21 (ANI): Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schauble has fired a salvo in the ongoing feud by drawing parallels between contemporary Turkey and government practices in former East Germany. Meanwhile,Germany's Economy Ministry said that Berlin would be reviewing all future exports of weapons to NATO member Turkey. "Turkey has started making arbitrary arrests and isn't maintaining the minimum standards for consulates (having access to detainees)," Xinhua quoted Schauble as saying. "It reminds me of how things were in the (communist) GDR. People who traveled there knew: If something happens, no one can help you,"he added. Schauble's remarks came a day after Foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said Germany is forced to reorient its Turkey policy. The first consequences will be new travel advisories for German citizens in Turkey.Gabriel said that Germans traveling to Turkey were incurring "risks," and the ministry website recommended Germans should exercise "heightened caution" when visiting Turkey since "consular access" to Germans detained in Turkey had been "restricted in violation of the obligations of international law." The move of "reorientation" of policy toward Turkey was in response to Turkey's jailing of German human rights activists and journalists.Relations between Ankara and Berlin deteriorated after the Turkish arrest of German human rights activist Peter Steudtner. The announcement that Steudtner had been placed in police custody sparked outrage in German political circles. The head of the SPD parliamentary faction, Thomas Opperman, complained that Erdogan had inaugurated a "new stage of escalation in German-Turkish relations." "If Turkey does not stop playing these games -- as further exemplified by the removal of the visitation rights of German parliamentarians at Konya NATO base in Turkey -- we must tell our people: you are travelling at your own risk," Schaeuble said.(ANI)

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