German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed on Sunday a travel warning issued by Turkey ahead of federal elections in the country later in September.
“I want to say very clearly that all Turkish citizens can travel here,” the chancellor said.
“No journalists get arrested here and no journalist get put in custody. Freedom of opinion and the rule of law prevail here and we’re proud of that,” she added in a swift rebuke of the Turkish warning.
On Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the political campaigns in Germany are based on anti-Ankara sentiment and aim to prevent Turkey’s EU membership.
“The political atmosphere… has actually been under the effects of far-right and even racist rhetoric for some time,” the ministry stated in the warning.
“Turkish citizens who live in, or who plan to travel to, Germany should be cautious and act prudently in cases of possible incidents, behavior or verbal assault of xenophobia and racism,” the ministry said.
Turkey’s relations with Germany have been strained for some time now, but due to lack of mutual trust, no quick improvement is expected.