Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin writes 'Turks, Germans and Europeans have to work hard to avoid irrational attitudes'
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”.
"There is no threat to German or other foreign citizens in Turkey while visiting or doing business," the presidential aide said.
"The cited case of the detention of a German citizen is a judicial process and only the courts will give the final verdict.
"There is also no blacklist of German companies being investigated or targeted in any way.
There are around 7,000 German companies in Turkey, and some have been doing business in Turkey for almost a century.
No foreign company has been shut down or investigated after the July 15 coup attempt. The companies that have been shut down or confiscated are solely those of the FETO network."
The presidential spokesman also said German government's next move will be to take its case to the rest of Europe, "meaning that it will use its power to mobilize other European countries against Turkey".
"How much longer will Germany turn a blind eye to Turkey's legitimate security concerns over the presence of the PKK, FETO and other groups whose primary trait is open animosity toward Turkey, a NATO ally and an EU candidate country?" Kalin asked.
He also highlighted that "this state of affairs must be rejected at a time when such global problems as inequality, injustice, terrorism, alienation and mistrust require global partnership and understanding".
"A relationship based on trust, mutual interest, equality and respect is possible and necessary between Turkey and Europe.
Turks, Germans and Europeans have to work hard to avoid irrational attitudes and irresponsible policies that end up hurting everyone."