A majority of Germans believe that Turkey should be expelled from NATO over Ankara’s military offensive in northern Syria that began in October, according to a survey released on Tuesday, the Deutsche Welle English service reported.
The YouGov survey, commissioned by news agency dpa, interviewed over 2,000 adult Germans between Oct. 25 and 28 and found that that 58 percent believe Turkey should be removed from NATO, the intergovernmental military alliance of 29 European and North American countries. Only 18 percent were against the idea.
A larger proportion of Germans wanted the German government to take a tougher stance against Turkey, with 61 percent in favor of economic sanctions against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government, while 69 percent supported a complete export ban.
The German government has limited arms sales to Turkey since Erdoğan launched the military offensive in northern Syria on Oct. 9 — but there is no total ban on arms sales to the country as previously vowed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
While NATO’s founding charter allows for a member to quit the military alliance, there is no mechanism that spells out how a country can be booted out by other states in the alliance. Removing a country from NATO would be a complicated and lengthy process that would need the approval of, and ratification by, all member countries.
In Germany, many politicians from the Left party have also called for Turkey’s expulsion, and acting chairman of the center-left SPD parliamentary group Rolf Mützenich has similarly called Turkey’s membership into question.