Turkey's foreign trade minister directed criticism at Germany for strict visa regulations against Turkish firms, saying it dealt a big blow to Turkey's trade with Europe.
Zafer Caglayan's remarks came in Frankfurt, Germany at his meeting with Turkish businessmen who attended the AMBIENTE-lnternationale Frankfurter Messe, the top international fair for the tabletop, kitchen, houseware and indulgence sectors.
Caglayan said only half of Turkish companies could participate in the fair due to Germany's strict visa regulations against Turkey.
"The visa issue is the biggest persecution in the world. It is a violation of human rights, it is torture. Today, we could have had more Turkish companies here, if Germany did not bring this visa obstacle which is against human rights," Caglayan told Turkish businessmen. "It is a big obstacle against Turkish industry, it is double standard."
Turkey ships 46 percent of its export goods to EU countries and 11 percent to non-EU countries in Europe.
Caglayan said German government had not enforced the laws despite a 1973 protocol and German court rulings on visa-free travel of Turkish people to Germany.
Turkey urges the EU to begin visa liberalization talks after Ankara and Brussels finally ended talks last month on a deal on the readmission of "illegal" immigrants entering EU countries via Turkey.
"EU, especially Germany, brings all kind of stonewalling regarding Turkey's membership. The pretext is the Cyprus issue," he said. "We are on our way to EU in spite of all the stonewalling and double standards. We have been waiting for 50 years but it does not mean that we will wait for 50 years more. Everything has an end."
AALast Mod: 13 Şubat 2011, 12:44