ANKARA 

Turkish foreign minister on Friday called on Germany to lift travel warning for Turkey.

Speaking to German weekly Der Spiegel, Mevlut Cavusoglu commented on Germany’s decision to lift travel warning for EU countries while extending it for all other countries until Aug. 31.

“It is hard to understand scientific reasons behind this decision,” said Cavusoglu, and called on Berlin to also lift its travel warning for Turkey, which has successfully managed the pandemic process. 

“German tourists are most warmly welcome. All kinds of hygiene measures will be taken against COVID-19 from the moment the German tourists start their travels. The whole staff in Turkey guaranteed to be healthy and all medical facilities will be ready,” the top Turkish diplomat said.

Thomas Bareiss, Germany’s commissioner for tourism, also told Der Spiegel that one should adopt a careful approach, but allow travel of German tourists to the countries that have successfully battled the coronavirus and taken necessary measures. 

“We need to remove travel warnings for countries that prove positive development in terms of number of new infections and guarantee adequate protection,” he said, adding that extending travel warnings for such countries would undermine the credibility of German government in the eyes of its citizens.

Last week, Berlin decided to lift travel warning for EU members and associated countries, despite the high number of active COVID-19 cases in France, Spain, Italy, and Belgium. It extended the travel warning for all the other countries outside Europe until the end of August. 

Germany’s leading tour operators have recently called on the government to lift travel warning also for non-EU countries, like Turkey, which have successfully managed the pandemic process.

Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations for German holidaymakers. Nearly 5 million German tourists traveled to Turkey last year.

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak

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