Germany blocks Eurofighter sale to Türkiye 'citing Eastmed drilling concerns'

Germany, a key member of the quartet consortium producing the Eurofighter Typhoon, is reportedly hesitatant to sell the advanced jets to Türkiye, citing concerns over the latter's natural gas drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, according to sources in local media.

Berlin's reluctance stems from decisions made by the EU Council in 2019, during a crisis between Türkiye and Greece, where sanctions were imposed on Ankara over its exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean, showcasing the EU's support for Cyprus.

Last week, Türkiye's Defense Minister Yaşar Güler declared the nation's intention to acquire Eurofighter jets, opting for them over the controversial F-35s from the United States. This decision follows Türkiye's expulsion from the F-35 program in 2019, making the modernization of the country's air force a top priority.

Güler said Türkiye aims to purchase 40 Eurofighters, asserting that the U.K. and Spain have committed to persuading Germany to agree to the deal. The Eurofighter is a collaborative effort involving Germany, the U.K., Spain and Italy.

Sources suggest that diplomatic tensions between NATO allies and Türkiye, exacerbated by the latter's acquisition of Russian S-400 missile systems, contribute significantly to Germany's decision. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent condemnation of Israel as a "terrorist state" further complicates matters, as reported by Bloomberg.

Erdoğan, on his return from a recent trip to Germany, stated that he and Chancellor Olaf Scholz had not discussed the Eurofighter procurement. Erdoğan remarked, "They can give us these planes if they want. If not, do we have no doors to knock on? So many."

In another development, Türkiye and the United Kingdom have signed...

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