Turkey asks Germany to approve arms exports, Greece calls for embargo – report

Turkey’s government requested that Germany approve export licenses for several weapons systems and parts during a visit by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to Ankara this week, Sabah newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Turkish officials presented a list of the hardware to Maas as Greece continued to demand that Germany enforce an arms embargo on the country due to a dispute over territory in the Mediterranean. The German government has rejected the request, Sabah said.

The export licenses that Turkey wants Germany to approve include permission for sales of engines for the Altay tank, the newspaper said. German arms firms are also awaiting Berlin’s approval, arguing that granting the sales would be a “win-win” situation for bilateral relations, it said.

Greece is particularly disturbed by German-Turkish cooperation in the production of six U 214 class submarines for Turkey’s navy, Sabah said. The first of the vessels entered service in December 2019 at a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it reported.

The European Union unanimously approved sanctions against several officials of Turkey’s state-run petroleum company at a summit in December for their involvement in drilling for hydrocarbons off Cyprus. But it failed to agree on a proposal by France, Greece and Cyprus to impose an arms embargo on the country.

The EU will consider further punitive measures against Turkey at a summit in March. Greek and Turkish officials are due to hold exploratory talks on territory at a meeting in Istanbul on Monday, but differences over the proposed scope of the negotiations remain.