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Turkey cautions citizens against traveling to Germany

Ankara has warned Turkish citizens about traveling to “anti-Turkey” Germany, advising nationals to take precautions when visiting the European country.

According to Press TV, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry made the comments in a statement released on Saturday, adding that the words of caution came after an upswing occurred in, what it described as, anti-Turkish sentiment ahead of German federal elections later this month, when voters will elect members of the 19th Bundestag, or the German parliament.

The statement read “Turkish citizens who live in, or who plan to travel to, Germany should be cautious and act prudently in cases of possible incidents, behavior or verbal assaults of xenophobia and racism.”

Eligible German voters will go to the polls on September 24 to elect the new Bundestag, a constitutional and legislative body at the federal level, which will in turn elect a chancellor with an absolute majority of its legislators. The next chancellor will in turn form a new government.

Several candidates will compete in the elections, including incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz, the LKeader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

“The political leadership campaigns in Germany are based on anti-Turkey sentiment and preventing our country’s EU membership. The political atmosphere… has actually been under the effects of far-right and even racist rhetoric for some time,” the statement said.

Ties between Turkey and Germany have been strained over a host of issues since the 2016 failed coup against the government in Ankara. Berlin has been critical of Ankara’s post-coup crackdown and the arrest of German citizens, while Turkey accuses the European country of harboring “terrorist” organizations, which are against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The two countries have also clashed over Germany’s alleged support for Kurdish opponents and its opposition against a controversial referendum in Turkey last April, which gave Erdogan sweeping new powers. German authorities at the time prevented some pro-Erdogan campaigns in the country, a move that infuriated the Turkish president.

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