Tit for Tat: Furious Ankara Issues Travel Warning for Turks in Germany

Turkish and European Union flags fly together at Taksim Square

This week, the ministry intensified its travel guidelines for Turkey.

Turkey has previously denied Germany's attempt to visit troops deployed at the Incirlik air base near the southern province of Adana, which pushed Berlin to move its soldiers and Tornado aircraft to Jordan. "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 assaults of xenophobia and racism", the Foreign Ministry said.

Relations between Turkey and Germany have been strained over a string of diplomatic arguments, such as the arrest of several German nationals in Turkey and Germany granting asylum to fleeing suspects from Turkey linked with the Gulenist Movement, which is blamed by Ankara for the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Omer Celik also welcomed the diplomatic rebuff offered by a number of the bloc's foreign ministers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's call for Turkey's European Union membership talks to be terminated.

Martin Schulz, the Social Democrats (SPD) chancellor candidate for the upcoming election, harshly criticized the Turkish government's latest move. "It is extremely important to keep this predictable relationship with Turkey, based on mutual respect towards each other", Szijjarto added.

Merkel's remarks on Sunday drew a furious response from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who compared them to "Nazism". "We fight for freedom of speech - in our market places and everywhere else".

The agency said they had both been held as part of investigations into a network of supporters of US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Turkish authorities for a failed military coup a year ago, and Kurdish militants in Syria.

Terrorists "walk freely on the streets" of Germany, the Turkish Foreign Ministry alleged.

Turkey's European Union affairs minister on Friday accused Germany of trying to use the EU as a "tool" in its festering row with Ankara and called for an end to the "vicious cycle" of acrimony between the two sides.

Ankara became angry earlier this year when Berlin banned Turkish politicians from campaigning in Germany ahead of Turkey's constitutional referendum, citing security concerns.

Turkey has declared a state of emergency following the failed military coup, in effect until October.

Some 50,000 people have been jailed and 150,000 have lost their jobs, while private companies have been seized.

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