Economic pressure on Turkey “is working,” said German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, commenting on ongoing tensions between Berlin and Ankara on Tuesday as pro-Erdoğan media in Turkey has continued Germany-bashing on Wednesday.
The German Foreign Ministry on July 20 toughened its travel warning on Turkey and warned German companies about investing in the country after human rights activist Peter Steudtner was arrested. Gabriel, who has been a staunch supporter of tougher stances against Turkey, said Berlin “has to protect its citizens and cannot allow German citizens to be imprisoned.”
“We must protect our citizens. We can’t allow Turkish President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan to simply imprison German citizens,” told Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, according to Deutsche Welle’s Turkish service.
As well as Steudtner, German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel was arrested in February on terror charges, which also contributed to the rift between Berlin and Ankara.
Gabriel also commented on reports that Turkey gave Berlin a list of companies it was targeting for suspected links to last year’s controversial coup attempt, which had stirred controversy in Germany.
“We have responded and warned German companies before investing in Turkey. And what happened? There was a broad debate in Turkish society. Then Erdoğan declared that the company list issue was the result of a single misunderstanding,” he said.
Meanwhile, accusing Germany of trying to prevent Turkey from constructing its third international airport in İstanbul, one of the staunchly pro-government dailies in Turkey, Güneş on Wednesday said Germany’s airline companies will go bankrupt once Turkey’s third airport is opened.
Güneş claimed that the biggest airline of Germany Lufthansa is also in the verge of bankruptcy after the bankruptcy of Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline.
According to the report, Germany does not want Turkey to be the center of aviation in Europe and for this reason Germany’s aviation lobby is targeting third airport project and Turkish Airlines through its media organs and official statements.
The daily said as Germany was secretly planning to destroy Turkey’s plans to construct a new airport, he lost one of its biggest airlines, who lost some of its customers to Turkish Airlines and could not be saved despite government support.
According to Güneş, Germany’s Spiegel announced the bankruptcy news of Air Berlin using a picture of a Turkish Airlines plane which was about to take off.
Despite attacks from Germany, Turkish Airlines is making profit while 55 percent of construction has been completed for the third airport project, said the daily, claiming that 40 million more tourists would fly to İstanbul every year after the airport project has been completed.
Erdoğanist Güneş daily is one of the newspapers owned by pro-government businessman Ethem Sancak, who was recently elected to Erdoğan led the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK). (SCF with turkishminute.com)