Jan 24 2018

German politicians call for arms embargo on Turkey

German opposition politicians have called on the government to impose an arms export ban on Turkey following the Turkish offensive against the Syrian district of Afrin, German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle said.

"The German government must not look away again and needs to clearly state its position on the Turkish military offensive against Kurds in Syria," it quoted Green Party parliamentarian Agnieszka Brugger as saying.

"An immediate halt to all arms exports to Turkey is long overdue," she said.

Norbert Röttgen, the Bundestag foreign policy committee chair and a parliamentarian for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, said the Afrin operation was a violation of international law and that it was clear Germany would not be able to upgrade Turkish tanks as previously discussed.

Röttgen told the BBC that Turkey could not claim to be acting in self-defence because "there have not been any attacks on Turkey by Kurdish forces in Syria".

"The Americans are the only NATO allies who are clear about what is happening,” he continued. “We quite often criticise the Trump administration but at this point they are more clear and more courageous than the others, and we should follow."

Left Party politician Jan Korte had also asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel to make a statement on her government’s position on Turkey and how it would respond to the Syrian intervention, Deutsche Welle said.