Germany reduces volume of arms exports to Turkey: report

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-18 19:46:36|Editor: Zhou Xin
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BERLIN, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- The German government has drastically reduced the number of approvals for arms exports to Turkey in 2017, the magazine Spiegel reported on Wednesday.

German authorities, in response to a parliamentary enquiry by the Left party (Linke), said Berlin approved ten separate arms exports to Turkey worth 4 million euros (4.7 million U.S. dollars) between Aug. 1 and Oct. 8, 2017.

The average monthly figure in 2016 was as high as at 18 approvals worth 7 million euros in total, said the report.

Traditionally close relations between Germany and Turkey have come under intense strain following a failed military coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

A recent wave of arrests of German citizens on suspicion of terrorist activities in Turkey has prompted Berlin to take a new and more aggressive stance towards Turkey.

The German Foreign Office has warned German tourists and investors to stay clear of Turkey, whilst several senior politicians threatened to strip Ankara of financial aid which it receives from Germany and the European Union.

Addressing the controversial subject of German arms exports, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) had said in September that his government had put several large orders for military technology from Turkey "on hold."

Nevertheless, the Left party's foreign policy spokesperson Sevim Dagdelen said that it was an "incredible scandal" that some arms were still being exported to Turkey in light of the diplomatic spat between the NATO partners. Dagdelen called for an immediate and unconditional halt to arms exports.