German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced on Thursday a range of steps against Turkey in response to the detention of a German human rights activist, signalling a more confrontational stance to the NATO ally after an escalation in tensions.
Sigmar Gabriel said Germany would talk to EU partners about Turkey’s aspirations to join the bloc and made clear Berlin could no longer guarantee German corporate investment in Turkey. He also said he could not envisage talks on expanding the customs union to Turkey and he issued new travel advice which warned of risks in Turkey for Germans.
“We need our policies towards Turkey to go in a new direction … we can’t continue as we have done until now. We need to be clearer than we have been until now so those responsible in Ankara understand that such policies are not without consequences,” Gabriel told reporters. He said the new steps had been agreed with Chancellor Angela Merkel.