Merkel: Turkey’s warnings to its citizens in Germany “a bad joke”

The invitation of the Turkish government to its citizens in Germany to exercise “caution” and avoid political gatherings during the election campaigns is “a bad joke,” Peter Tammer, senior adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said.

“Turkey’s warning to its citizens is a bad joke,” the director of the Chancellery’s office wrote in a tweet on Twitter in response to Ankara’s advice to its citizens in Germany on Saturday.

Turkey on Saturday urged its nationals living in or traveling to Germany to “be careful and take into account the situation in Germany where racist or xenophobic acts or attacks can be dealt with.”

Ankara’s move follows an increase in German Foreign Ministry warnings to travelers to Turkey, angering Ankara.

Relations between the two countries have been strained since the attempted coup on July 15, 2016, attributed to US-based advocate Fathallah Gulen, which he denies.

Germany, for its part, strongly condemns the purges carried out by the Turkish authorities after the attempted coup and the arrest of more than 50,000 people, including Germans, “for political reasons,” one of them is the correspondent of the newspaper “Die Welt” in Turkey Deniz Yogel, who holds German and Turkish nationality.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday described the remarks of Merkel and her rival Martin Schultz on Turkey during a televised debate last Sunday in preparation for the upcoming legislative elections on September 24.

During the debate, Merkel stressed that she supports the suspension of EU accession negotiations with Ankara, against the backdrop of growing sharp criticism between the two main countries in the NATO alliance.

“The arrest of many Germans without charge is unfair,” Altmayer wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

“The Ankara government is losing its balance,” Schultz said in comments published on the Spiegel website. “Germany is not a country that accepts Turkey’s insults toward it.”