German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced Thursday a range of steps to be taken against Turkey in response to the detention of Peter Steudtner, who is accused of terrorism charges by Turkish authorities but is described as a human rights activist by the German government.
"We need to be clearer than we have been until now so those responsible in Ankara understand that such policies are not without consequences", Gabriel said.
He suggested Gabriel's remarks were meant to win votes at national elections in two months.
It said that there had been a "serious confidence crisis" in Turkish-German relations in recent months due to what the ministry called Germany's "approach of double standards".
The six rights activists were among tens of thousands of Turks arrested in a crackdown that followed 2016's failed coup against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
Since then Erdogan has likened German and other European leaders to fascists and Nazis after Turkish officials were barred from campaigning in those countries in the run-up to a referendum on switching to a presidential system in Turkey.
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In a statement published on Thursday, Turkey's foreign ministry said it has kept Germany's chargé d'affaires in Ankara informed of Steudtner's case, adding, "the independent Turkish judiciary must be trusted".
"Turkey turning away from Europe is not in Germany's or Europe's interest", he said.
"We need our policies toward Turkey to go in a new direction. we can't continue as we have done until now". It said Turkey was Germany's No. 15 export destination and No. 16 source of imports past year.
Turkey has frequently complained that the PKK and the Gulen movement, named terrorist organizations in Turkey, are given free rein to operate in Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel weighed in personally after the court's decision on Tuesday, calling the arrests "absolutely unjustified", DW reports.
Turkish-German relations have been severely strained after Turkey detained six human rights activists, including a German citizen Peter Steudtner, earlier this week accusing them of assisting the activity of terrorist groups.
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Berlin on Wednesday summoned Turkey's ambassador over the detention of a German human rights activist and issued a fresh warning about the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partner's respect for the rule of law.
The German newspaper Die Zeit reported on Wednesday Turkish authorities had, several weeks ago, handed their German counterparts a list of 68 German companies they accused of having links to Gulen. Pre-trial detention in Turkey can last for up to five years.
"In this environment it is hard to think about German companies making new investments in Turkey", Volker Treier, DIHK foreign trade chief, told Reuters.
The list included chemicals giant BASF, which confirmed it was on a list that had been passed to it by German police, but declined to comment on the allegations. Only China, at $25.4 billion, exported more to Turkey. By contrast, Turkish exports to Germany of some $14 billion made it the No. 1 destination for foreign sales, ahead of the U.K., Italy then Iraq.
Several weeks ago, Erdogan told Die Zeit weekly that if more German tourists shun the popular holiday destination, Turkey would simply seek to attract more visitors from Russian Federation, now the number two country of origin.
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