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Turkey warns citizens traveling to Germany ahead of elections

TURKEY WARNS CITIZENS TRAVELING TO GERMANY AHEAD OF ELECTIONS

The Turkish Foreign Ministry warned citizens living in Germany or traveling to the country to be cautious in a statement released Saturday.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry issued Saturday a warning for its citizens visiting or living in Germany ahead of the country's federal elections on Sept. 24.

In a statement on its official website, the ministry warned Turkish citizens to "be careful" and keep their composure against "racist and xenophobic slurs."

"It is advised for our citizens in Germany or planning to visit this country to be even-tempered, keep themselves out of political discussions and absent themselves from rallies held by terrorist groups ahead of the elections," the ministry said.

The ministry said political leaders in Germany are basing their election campaigns on anti-Turkey rhetoric and the aim of blocking Turkey from becoming a member of the European Union.

"The political atmosphere in the aforementioned country is under the influence of far-right and racist propaganda," it added. "It is worrying that a chancellor-candidate political leader in Germany has recently made statements including clear racist elements and German officials took no measure about it."

Three weeks before Sept. 24 general elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her center-left rival Martin Schulz clashed over Turkey policy in a televised debate Sunday night, with Schulz making a surprise proposal to halt Ankara's EU membership talks and freeze €4 billion ($4.68 billion) in pre-accession funds.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, last month, called on ethnic Turks living in Germany to vote for those who are "not hostile to Turkey" in the federal elections.

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