Germany has responded to a Greek request that it suspends the export of military equipment to Turkey because of Ankara’s aggressive policies in the region, with the country’s Foreign Ministry saying that the federal government follows “a restrictive and responsible weapons exports policy.”
The German Foreign Ministry reportedly said that licenses for arms sales to Turkey are granted “after careful consideration and through the prism of foreign and security policy parameters.”
The ministry added that the number of licenses for exports of arms to Turkey is “very low.”
According to a 2019 German government report, weapons bound for Turkey are exclusively “maritime goods.”
Specifically, Germany through ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) is assisting Turkey in building six class 214 submarines.
Germany’s weapon sales to Turkey, particularly the class 214 submarines, comes at a time when their Turkish allies are threatening to invade Greek islands and continue to violate the maritime sovereign rights of Greece.
In the first third of 2019, Germany sold their Turkish allies a total of €184.1 million worth of armaments, while in 2018 Germany made up almost one-third of all weapon exports to Turkey with €242.8 million.
Greece had asked fellow European Union countries to halt military exports to Turkey, the country’s foreign minister said Tuesday, amid a deepening dispute between the two neighbors over maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also said has written to EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi to complain that Turkey is violating its customs union with the bloc
Germany remains one of the very few countries in the EU that continues to block sanctions against Turkey for its violations of the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus, both EU member states.