Turkey, Germany continue dialogue on tourism

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Thursday that his country is in discussions with Ankara to see whether Turkey can be exempted from Berlin’s travel warning issued for all non-European Union (EU) countries.

“We have close dialogue with Turkey, with the government and with the relevant authorities,” the state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Maas as saying.

Maas also added that the capacity of the health system, measures for safety of tourists and planned flights to and from tourism destinations were the main topics discussed by Ankara and Berlin.

“We will review the situation according to these criteria, and if we come to a conclusion that it is reasonable, then we will lift the travel warning and replace it with a travel advice for Turkey,” he said.

Maas’s statement came days after Germany’s leading tour operators called on the German government to lift travel warnings for non-EU member states like Turkey.

Germany will lift its border controls, initiated in March to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, on June 15. But this week Germany extended its travel warning against “non-essential travel” for non-EU countries until August 31.

Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations for German holidaymakers. Nearly 5 million German tourists travelled to Turkey last year, many of whom are German-Turks residing in Germany.