Europe
Berlin considers adding Turkey to list of countries posing security risk
Last Updated: 2017-09-14 07:53 | Xinhua
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Germany is considering conducting security screenings for officials traveling to or having personal ties with Turkey, an Interior Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday.

As tensions between Berlin and Ankara show no sign of abetting, Turkey could hereby be included in the "list of states" making additional controls mandatory in accordance with Germany's security screening law.

Around 35 countries were included in the list on account of posing high security risks for intelligence agents, police officers and military officials.

If included, officials with ties to Turkey could be barred from traveling there on vacation, and marriage to a Turkish citizen be classified as a risk factor.

Relations between Germany and Turkey have come under severe strain over the past year, due to political arrests of several German citizens by Turkish security forces, among other factors.

Berlin has repeatedly demanded the release of the prisoners, while Ankara accuses Chancellor Angela Merkel's government of harboring terrorists allegedly involved in a failed military coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said economic pressure exerted by the government on Turkey would ultimately bear fruit.

"We have reduced our economic aid and warned clearly of the risks investors currently face in Turkey," Gabriel told Nordwest-Zeitung newspaper.

He cited Ankara's reversal of a plan to list 680 German firms as "terror suspects" as a success attributable to Berlin's newly-adopted hard line.

Merkel has recently joined in growing calls from German politicians to formally end negotiations on Turkey's accession to the European Union. However, the call currently lacks the necessary unanimous consent of member states represented in the European Council.

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