Report: Germany suspends arms deals with Turkey

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German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel

Germany has decided to suspend arms deals with Turkey amid increasing political tensions between the two countries, the German Bild daily reported on Thursday.

According to the report, which cites government sources, the decision to suspend deals covers ongoing projects and planned arms projects.

The tensions between the two countries escalated after six human rights activists, including Amnesty International’s (AI) Turkey Director İdil Eser and German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner, who were detained on July 5 during a workshop at a hotel on İstanbul’s Büyükada, were arrested by an İstanbul court on Tuesday.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said his country is being forced to reorient its Turkey policy and warned its citizens against the risks of traveling to Turkey, showing signs of growing impatience and disappointment after detention of rights defenders on terror charges, which Gabriel argued, was “obviously unfounded and have simply been dragged out irrationally.”

Germany is planning to review European Union negotiations with Turkey and will also review export credit guarantees to German companies investing in Turkey due to the lack of “legal security” in Turkey.

Criticizing German Foreign Ministry statements that implied reorienting its Turkey policy, spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, İbrahim Kalın said on Thursday that Germany should think more rationally.

In addition to Steudtner, German journalist Deniz Yücel and seven other Germans are currently in custody in Turkey.

President Erdoğan is believed to be detaining German nationals to force the deportation of Turkish asylum seekers, who Erdoğan accuses of having mounted a botched coup attempt on July 15, 2016, from Germany.

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