German arms exports to Turkey slump to $27.8 million in 2020

The German government approved around 22.9 million euros ($27.8 million) in arms exports to Turkey last year, or around 2 percent of total, Deutsche Welle reported on Sunday, citing a report by the dpa news agency.

The sales compared with 344.6 million euros in deals with Turkey in 2019, which constituted more than one-third of Germany’s total weapons exports that year, according to a classified document seen by dpa.

Germany imposed a partial arms export ban on Turkey after its military incursion into Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria in October 2019.

The German sales of weapons also shrank last year after Turkey began exploring for hydrocarbons in disputed waters of the Mediterranean. But it declined to implement a full embargo called for last month by fellow European Union members Greece, Cyprus and France. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the proposed measures were "strategically incorrect".

Germany also granted permission for a series of arms deals worth 752 million euros to Egypt, over 305.1 million euros to Qatar and more than 51 million euros to the United Arab Emirates, Deutsche Welle said.

Permission for the arms exports came as Egypt, the UAE, Turkey and Qatar backed opposing sides in a military conflict in Libya. Qatar and Turkey support the United Nations-recognised government in Libya’s capital Tripoli against rebel forces in the east of the country led by General Khalifa Haftar, backed by Egypt and the UAE.

Germany granted another 23.4 million euros in arms export licenses to Kuwait, 1.7 million euros to Jordan and 1.5 million euros to Bahrain, Deutsche Welle said.

Total German arms exports approved to Middle Eastern countries and Turkey amounted to 1.16 billion euros last year, it said.