Germany freezes Turkish tanks' upgrade after Syria incursion

Germany’s caretaker government has decided to put on hold any decision on upgrading German-made Leopard tanks in NATO-ally Turkey, Reuters reported.

Turkey made an official request for the upgrade of German-made Leopard 2 tanks, but opposition parties in the German parliament called on the government to impose an arms export ban on Turkey following the Turkish offensive against the Syrian enclave of Afrin.

The Turkish army is using the Leopard 2 tanks in the operation.

German magazine Der Spiegel said on Thursday that conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel from the centre-left Social Democrats had agreed to wait before both blocs had sealed a new coalition deal before making a decision.

Following Berlin’s decision to halt arms exports, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey expected support and solidarity from its ally Germany in its fight against terrorism.

“While we fight with terrorists, we expect support and solidarity from Germany. We expect them to not support terrorists, but I know they are also under pressure,” Reuters quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying.