German government announced that it will reopen borders with virus-hit southern European countries like Spain and Italy while refraining to set a timetable for Turkey which have been hailed by the western media for its successful fight against coronavirus pandemic. Experts call German government’s decision political and warn that summer vacationers could bring back home the virus from southern Europe and prompt a second wave.
German government earlier said that it will reopen the borders and resume flights on June 15th with the southern European countries which sacrificed more than 100 thousand lives to Covid-19. As the summer has arrived, the move has galvanized the German public about the possibility of a warm beach-side vacation after mostly being stock home for months. But experts warn that the southern Europe may not be the first choice for a safe vacation this summer. “Countries like Spain, Italy and France are not the best places to go this summer as they still battle the fatal coronavirus,” said an owner of a travel agency in Istanbul.
Turkey is a popular summer vacation destination for Germans. In 2019, almost 900 thousand Germans visited Turkey, 15 percent increase comparing to the earlier year according to Culture Ministry statistics. And Turkey’s unique successful method in coronavirus fight has been widely hailed even by even the most Turkey-opposed western publications like BBC. Turkey’s coronavirus death rate stands at 2,7 percent, lowest comparing to its European peers. Its health infrastructure has even been expanded during the pandemic as the government inaugurated new hospitals with several thousand daily treatment capacity. However, German government has refrained so far to announce any date on reopening of borders with Turkey.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass talked to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu over the phone last week during which he expressed his desire to make Turkey a popular vacation spot for Germans again but the action is still missing. Prominent members of Turkish diaspora in Germany accused the government for making political decisions when public safety should come first.
Around 5 million Turkish-descent people live in Germany and they, too, look forward to summer months to travel to Turkey for vacation.
Germany has been accused of discriminating against eastern European countries as well over its decision not to open borders with them either. Despite being much less hit by coronavirus, countries like Poland and Czechia have been left out of the list by Germany.