Germany continues selling arms to Turkey amid ‘embargo’ talk

According to Germany’s state-run WDR TV channel, the German government has approved 54 arms sales to Turkey since the beginning of 2017, putting into context news that broke out on Thursday that Germany had prevented 11 arms sales to Turkey in 2016 due to “concerns on Turkey’s human rights situation”.

Based on a response given by Germany’s Economy Ministry to a question asked by Green Party MP Ozcan Mutlu, WDR’s report says that in only the last two-and-a-half months Germany has sold arms in the value of 21.8 million euros to Turkey with 54 separate sales being approved.

The news comes after German arms company Rheinmettal’s CEO Armin Papperger told Reuters on Thursday that the German state was not authorising its sales to Turkey.

Earlier in the week German media was reporting that its government had not allowed for 11 separate sales of arms to Turkey to go ahead in 2016 with human rights abuses being cited as the reason.

While the news caused uproar in Turkish government circles, WDR’s report contextualises the dealings between the two states which have traditionally maintained a smooth business relationship no matter how strained political ties may be; specifically, as the WDR’s figures show, in its arms deals.