Germany Hesitant to Sell Eurofighter Jets to Türkiye Due to Concerns Over Mediterranean Activities


According to local media sources, Germany, a key member of the quartet consortium producing the Eurofighter Typhoon, is reportedly hesitant to sell advanced jets to Türkiye. This hesitation is due to concerns over Türkiye's natural gas drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean. Berlin's reluctance can be traced back to decisions made by the EU Council in 2019, where sanctions were imposed on Ankara over its exploration activities in the region, showcasing the EU's support for Cyprus.

Türkiye's Defense Minister Yaşar Güler recently declared the nation's intention to acquire Eurofighter jets, choosing them over the controversial F-35s from the United States. This decision follows Türkiye's expulsion from the F-35 program in 2019, making the modernization of Türkiye's air force a top priority.

Güler stated that Türkiye aims to purchase 40 Eurofighters and claims that the U.K. and Spain will assist in persuading Germany to agree to the deal. The Eurofighter project involves collaboration between Germany, the U.K., Spain, and Italy.

Sources suggest that Germany's decision is influenced by diplomatic tensions between NATO allies and Türkiye, exacerbated by the latter's acquisition of Russian S-400 missile systems. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent condemnation of Israel as a "terrorist state" has further complicated matters.

Erdoğan, upon returning from Germany, stated that he and Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not discuss the Eurofighter procurement. He remarked that if Germany does not agree to the deal, Türkiye will seek other options.

In another development, Türkiye and the United Kingdom have signed an agreement to deepen security and defense ties. British Defense Minister Grant Shapps, during his visit to Ankara on Nov. 23, discussed regional and security matters with his Turkish counterpart, as well as ongoing cooperation in the defense industry.

Germany has previously criticized Turkish military operations in northern Syria and suspended the modernization of Leopard tanks in Türkiye's possession. They also halted the sale of tanks, which has affected Türkiye's Altay tank project and the involvement of a German company for the tanks' engines due to concerns related to operations in Syria.

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