A relationship based on trust, mutual interest, equality and respect is necessary between Turkey and Europe, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Tuesday.
“Turks, Germans and Europeans have to work hard to avoid irrational attitudes and irresponsible policies that end up hurting everyone,” Kalin, a top aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wrote in a column for Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper, headlined “Turkey, Germany, Europe quo vadis?”
He said German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced a major policy change on Turkey instead of a positive climate to emerge last week. “Where did this come from? What lies behind it?”
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced in a news conference last Thursday it would not encourage German businesses to invest in Turkey, in an apparent attempt to increase pressure on Ankara to release German citizen Peter Steudtner.
Germany also issued new travel warnings for its citizens wishing to visit Turkey.
“Two recent incidents are mentioned as a possible cause for this policy shift,” Kalin said.
“The first is the detention of a German citizen in Turkey for allegedly being involved in unlawful acts.
The second is the claim that Turkey is investigating German companies in Turkey as part of the ongoing Gulenist Terror Group [FETO] investigation.
“The German government went so far as to claim that German citizens and companies are not safe in Turkey. Both charges are baseless.”
Steudtner was among 10 people arrested in a police raid during a meeting in Buyukada, one of the Princes’ Islands near Istanbul, for allegedly planning provocative events that would fuel unrest across Turkey similar to the Gezi Park incidents in 2013.
A Turkish court on Tuesday remanded in custody Steudtner on charges of aiding an armed terrorist organization.
German Foreign Ministry on Wednesday called on Turkish authorities to release Steudtner, calling his detention “unjustified” and charges against the group “absurd”.