'Turkey always safe and friendly for Germans'

Turkey has always been friendly for Germans and it remains a safe destination for German tourists, Turkey's culture and tourism minister said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters at the ITB Berlin tourism fair, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy dismissed recent media reports claiming German visitors might face arbitrary deportations or arrests in Turkey.

"This is out of the question," Ersoy stressed, adding that a recent statement by Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on terrorism suspects in Germany had been misquoted and taken out of context by some media outlets.

"The friendship between the Turkish and German peoples is something deeply rooted in history, this is very important," he said.

"We love Germans. And we know that Germans feel the same way and want to visit Turkey," he added.

Ersoy said Turkey is expecting to welcome more than 5.5 million German tourists this year, amid a sharp rise in early bookings showing strong demand for summer holidays in the country.

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