Europe

Time to 'rethink' Turkey relations, says Merkel

Image shows German chancellor Angel Merkel Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The German foreign ministry says Turkey is holding 12 Germans on political grounds

German chancellor Angela Merkel says it may be time to rethink relations with Turkey, after two more German citizens were detained there.

The German foreign ministry says they were arrested in the southern resort of Antalya on Thursday.

They say Turkey is now holding 12 Germans on what it calls political grounds.

A ministry spokesperson said diplomats had not been able to contact Turkey, who are yet to comment on the arrests.

Chancellor Merkel said that, in most cases, the detentions had "no legal basis" and added that her government would "perhaps have to rethink" its policies towards Turkey.

Germany warns citizens of Turkey risks amid arrests

Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since Turkey arrested a Turkish-German journalist in February.

In July, the German foreign ministry warned its citizens that they faced arbitrary arrest in Turkey under the state of emergency imposed there after a failed coup last year.

Turkey reacted angrily, saying Germany had a "one-sided, distorted approach" that was "unacceptable".

Turkish President Recep Erdogan launched a huge purge of state institutions after rogue military officers tried to oust him a year ago.

More than 50,000 people have been arrested since then, including more than 170 journalists and many opposition politicians, academics and activists.

Chancellor Merkel said the detentions called for a decisive reaction, and that it was inappropriate to continue talks about expanding the limited customs agreement that Turkey has shared with the European Union since 1995.

The deal currently excludes services, public procurement contracts and farm produce.

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