German foreign ministry has issued a travel warning, “People who are travelling to Turkey for private or business reasons are urged to exercise increased caution,” the German foreign ministry said.
In unusually bold language, Sigmar Gabriel announced a “re-orientation” of German policy towards Turkey, saying Berlin would reconsider the economic aid and export credit guarantees it provides for the country.
The crisis in relations between Berlin and Ankara escalated sharply on Thursday as Germany’s foreign minister issued a safety warning to tourists travelling to Turkey and warned investors against doing business there.
The measures will have a tangible impact on a country that welcomes millions of German tourists every year and is one of Germany’s closest trading partners. Germans make up 15 per cent of the country’s tourism arrivals and trade volumes between the countries stand at €37bn a year.
Germany protested to Turkey’s Berlin ambassador on Wednesday over the arrest of six human rights activists.
The six include a German citizen, Peter Steudtner, and Amnesty International’s Turkey director, Idil Eser.
The escalation could threaten Turkish holiday bookings – tourists from Germany were the most numerous last year, at nearly four million.
More than 50,000 people have been arrested since the failed coup, including more than 170 journalists and many opposition politicians, academics and activists.
Mr Erdogan accused US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the abortive coup. The purge of the armed forces, judiciary, police and education sector has seen more than 140,000 people dismissed from their jobs.