Government allows arms exports: turkey continues to receive german weapons

Two weeks ago, the newspaper "Bild" reported about a delivery stop. The government now denies this. It also refrains from a second measure.

Mules of the Turkish army (not from German production) Photo: dpa

Contrary to reports to the contrary, the German government is still allowing arms deals with Turkey. This is according to a response from the Ministry of Economics to a written question from Green Party MP Agnieszka Brugger.

"It is not true that the federal government has revoked all current export licenses for war weapons and armaments to Turkey," writes State Secretary Matthias Machnig (SPD) in the answer, which is available to the taz. He added that the government was still discussing how developments in Turkey would affect authorized exports. The Ministry of Economics did not disclose in detail which transactions are currently approved when asked.

Two weeks ago, Bild had reported on an alleged export freeze. "Planned and already existing arms projects with Turkey are to be put on hold for the time being," the newspaper wrote at the time. Legally, such a move would be possible, although the government would probably have to pay damages if it revoked licenses that had been issued.

Green Party politician Brugger cannot understand why the German government has decided to forego the export ban. "In view of the dramatic developments in Turkey and President Erdogan’s escalation course, all arms exports to Turkey should have been stopped long ago," she says. "It’s high time the German government showed a clear stance instead of ducking away and simply letting these irresponsible deals continue."

One day before Bild’s report in July, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had announced a general change of course in Turkey policy at a press conference. In doing so, he also questioned whether the German government could still offer export credit insurance for business with Turkey under the current circumstances.

Policy not changed

A week later, the German government’s Interministerial Committee responsible for these Hermes guarantees met. Against expectations, however, the committee did not change the guidelines. A spokesman for the Economics Ministry told the taz last Friday, "The review is ongoing."

It is possible that the government will refrain from a quick decision, as the mere threat of the foreign minister had already had an effect: Shortly after Gabriel’s press conference, the Turkish authorities withdrew a list of German companies that they had accused of doing business with terror supporters. Turkish government representatives stressed that German companies had nothing to fear.

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