Germany will keep reviewing travel advice for Turkey, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told his Turkish counterpart on July 2, saying any decisions were coordinated with the EU and based on reliable data on infections and the health situation.
Turkey is disappointed that the EU has excluded it, along with the United States and others, from a list of countries recommended for non-essential travel and has called on it to correct its “mistake.”
Speaking to reporters after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Berlin, Maas said reviews of the situation took place every two weeks.
“Further steps will follow,” said Maas, adding that family visits were excluded from the travel warning. This is crucial for the large Turkish community but Germany is also an important source of tourism for Turkey.
“This is about how we guarantee safe tourism in the corona crisis,” said Maas, welcoming the latest information on the situation given him by Çavuşoğlu, adding, however, that could not prejudge future decisions.
“After evaluating the situation based on the objective criteria, Turkey should be listed within the safe and secure countries,” said Çavuşoğlu.
Turkey said on July 2 that it is disappointed by the European Union’s decision to exclude it from the list.
“The measures Turkey has taken to combat the coronavirus pandemic as well as her efforts and success in this respect are evident,” ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in the statement.
“We expect the correction of this mistake regarding the travel restrictions for our citizens as soon as possible.”
There have been more than 200,000 cases of the coronavirus in Turkey, with a death toll of 5,150 and new daily cases currently running at around 1,200.
When asked in a news conference about concerns over Turkey’s use of the hydroxychloroquine drug on coronavirus patients, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Turkey could implement German COVID-19 treatment protocols if necessary.
“I can say that we are open to following Germany’s treatment protocols on German visitors if they demand it. Our minister will make a presentation tomorrow on this issue which I believe will ease concerns,” Koca said.
Earlier on July 1, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had told officials from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that Europe had maintained “restrictive” policies towards Turkey which were based on political rather than health factors.