Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that Turkey was treated unfairly with the decision to exclude it from the European Union’s safe travel list.
Speaking at a tourism meeting in the southern district of Alanya on July 5, Çavuşoğlu said that some countries were included in the list over their political ties despite their number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases not being in decent levels.
“We see that Turkey is being treated unfairly and that some countries were included in the list as a political gesture,” he said, adding that the decision to exclude Turkey is political.
He also said that the official information and the decisions don’t add up.
The 27-member bloc gave approval on June 30 to leisure or business travel from 14 countries beyond its borders, the Council of the EU, which represents EU governments, said in a statement.
Russia, Brazil and United States, along with Turkey, are among countries whose containment of the virus is considered worse than that of the EU average.
Following the EU’s decision, Ankara voiced disappointment and urged the bloc to correct its “mistake.”
Çavuşoğlu on July 5 said that Turkey is one of the most successful countries in the fight against the coronavirus “due to the precautions it adopted.”
“We are one of the countries that have the best healthcare system and infrastructure,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu on July 2 visited Berlin, where he discussed the issue with his German counterpart Heiko Maas.
“We have been telling them and the public that the EU’s decisions are political. Following our visit, the German press and TV also made the same comments,” Çavuşoğlu said.
“When we look at the EU’s list, we see that we’re not in a rivalry with any of them. All of them are our friendly countries. However, what matters here is health and security. We’ve been working in line with those criteria and carry out our works,” he also said.
“This political gesture is wrong. If you make a political gesture to those countries in a way that would put your citizens’ lives in danger while ignoring Turkey, whose conditions are better, your own citizens would react against it,” Çavuşoğlu added.