Siemens of Germany has submitted the winning bid in the Turkish Energy Ministry’s $1 billion wind power project amid tension between Berlin and Ankara over the arrest of human rights defenders, including a German national, Reuters reported on Thursday.
A consortium comprising Siemens and Turkey’s Türkerler and Kalyon companies was awarded the tender for the project, which includes the construction of a 1,000 MW power plant and wind turbines after beating out eight other bidders. The consortium submitted a bid of $3.48 cents per kilowatt-hour, outdoing Chinese firm Ming Yang, Germany’s Enercon and Denmark’s Vestas.
Turkey’s current 6,000 MW of installed wind power capacity is expected to increase by 17 percent after the wind power project is completed.
The Kalyon group is known for being awarded the largest number of projects by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The group was also part of the Dec.17-25 corruption probe in 2013, which implicated several members of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family, his inner circle and four former ministers. Detention warrants were issued for Zekeriya Öz, Celal Kara and Mehmet Yüzgeç, all former prosecutors who took part in the corruption investigations in August 2015.
Relations between Ankara and Berlin became strained when 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 put in pretrial detention by an İstanbul.
German officials said they would start considering economic sanctions against Turkey and warned German nationals against the risks of travelling to Turkey.
While the Turkish government tried to assure German investors in Turkey, the German government is waiting for Turkey to take concrete steps in democracy and the rule of law.
Berlin has asked Turkey to stop using arrested German citizens including journalists and human right activists as a political card and to end political accusations against Germany by Turkish politicians.