Germany’s decision to include Turkey in a travel warning for the COVID-19 outbreak was “disappointing,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told German ARD broadcaster on June 17.
“In the event of a tourist getting sick after coming to vacation in Turkey, and even if the German government doesn’t cover the national’s health expenses, Turkey would treat the patient and cover all expenses,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu said Germany’s categorizing of Turkey among risky countries is an “unjust political decision.”
The minister said he offered his counterpart, Heiko Maas, that a delegation of German experts could make a field inspection in Turkey.
Turkey wants to kickstart its tourism industry and has sought an exemption from travel warnings issued by Berlin, which is currently in place until Aug. 31. Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations for German holidaymakers. Nearly 5 million German tourists traveled to Turkey last year.
Berlin decided to lift a travel warning for EU members and associated countries.
Maas has said his government will not be in a position to launch a new repatriation operation and bring back thousands of Germans nationals stranded abroad, in case of a new wave of infection or disruption to international air travel.
The travel warnings advise against “non-essential tourist travel” due to the risks posed by the coronavirus.