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German arms exports to Turkey collapse

Europe
30.09.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Arms exports to Turkey from Germany have collapsed since the new government in Berlin took office six months ago.

Since March 14, the Berlin government has only issued 16 export permits worth 916,902 euros (1,065,000 dollars), according to a parliamentary reply from the Economy Ministry to an opposition question seen by dpa on Sunday.

By way of comparison, the government issued 34 permits worth 9.7 million euros in the period from January 1 to March 13, and in the whole of 2017 there were 138 permits for 34.2 million euros of arms.

In 2016, fellow NATO member Turkey imported 83.9 million euros in arms from Germany, requiring 213 export permits, making Turkey at the time one of the top 20 most important arms buyers for the German arms industry.

Since a failed coup attempt in Turkey in mid-2016 and the brutal government crackdown that followed, arms sales from Germany have fallen dramatically.

A possible reason for the further collapse in arms exports since March is Turkey‘s invasion of northern Syria. Turkish troops used German Leopard-2 battle tanks for that operation, directed mainly against Kurdish forces.

Relations between Ankara and Berlin have eased slightly since the start of the year, with Turkey hoping for full normalization of ties, especially economic ones. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan just completed an official state visit to Germany on Saturday.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, who is responsible for arms exports, plans to travel to Turkey at the end of October.

 

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