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Turkey Warns Citizens Traveling to Germany

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The Turkish Foreign Ministry warned citizens living in Germany or traveling to the country to be cautious in a statement released Saturday.

The ministry said that Turkish citizens should act responsibly in cases of xenophobic, racist treatments and verbal attacks.

Citizens should also avoid discussions with political content, political party rallies before the upcoming elections and events promoted by terror organizations in Germany, the statement added.

The ministry said political leaders in Germany are basing their election campaigns on anti-Turkey rhetoric and the aim of blocking Turkey from becoming a member of the European Union.

The statement also advised citizens to pay attention to further announcements delivered by the Foreign Ministry, Berlin Embassy and other consulate generals in Germany.

Relations between Turkey and Germany have recently been strained over several issues.

Ankara refused German lawmakers permission to visit German soldiers stationed at the İncirlik Air Base due to controversial statements made by lawmakers from the socialist Die Linke (The Left) party, which had announced its support for the PKK, a commonly listed terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and U.S.

The Turkish government also has long criticized Germany for not taking serious measures against the PKK, which carries out propaganda, recruitment and fundraising activities in the country.

PKK was outlawed in Germany in 1993, but authorities in Berlin have been reluctant to take strong measures against the terrorist group's activities despite repeated warnings from Ankara.

Germany is also singled out among European countries for embracing some 250 fugitive diplomats and soldiers accused of involvement in the July 15 failed coup attempt with suspected links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

Unconfirmed reports say that about 4,000 FETÖ suspects left for Germany after the coup attempt while several suspects, including former military officers and diplomats accused of involvement in the coup bid, applied for asylum.

Growing Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiments in Germany over the past years, which was triggered by propaganda from far-right and populist parties, also led to tense relations as numerous Turkish citizens living in Germany and mosques were target of far-right attacks.

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