Germany says it has frozen tanks upgrade for Turkey
BERLIN - Reuters
Germany’s caretaker government has said it has decided to put on hold any decision on upgrading German-made tanks in Turkey as requested by its NATO ally Ankara, but Turkey has refuted any freeze.
Turkey’s use of the Leopard 2 tanks in its “Operation Olive Branch” in northern Syria has fueled a debate about Berlin’s approval of arms exports, a domestically sensitive issue.
A government spokesman said center-right Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat, had agreed Berlin would not decide on the Turkish request before both party blocs had sealed a new coalition deal.
However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in Istanbul on Jan. 25 that a commission meeting on the issue was postponed but no cancellation or hold was on the agenda.
Turkey expects support and solidarity from its ally Germany in its fight against terrorism, Çavuşoğlu said.
“While we fight with terrorists, we expect support and solidarity from Germany,” Çavuşoğlu said.