Güler criticizes Germany's arms export restrictions

Defense Minister Yaşar Güler has criticized Germany for imposing arms export restrictions on Türkiye, alleging that such actions amount to an embargo on NATO.

"Germany is our friend and ally. A NATO member is imposing an embargo on another," Güler said in an interview with daily Milliyet on May 12.

Güler further asserted that Germany's stance could be interpreted as covert support for withholding aid to Ukraine. Berlin had previously curtailed arms export licenses to Türkiye following its military operations in northern Syria in 2016.

The issue surrounding Germany's arms export restrictions on Türkiye has come to the agenda in the wake of the latter's pursuit of Eurofighter jets as an alternative to the recently approved F-16 purchases from the United States.

Germany, a key producer of the advanced jets, has yet to grant the consent for the sales to proceed.

The finalized F-16 deal, valued at $23 billion, entails Türkiye acquiring 40 new F-16s and upgrading 79 existing ones following recent approval from the U.S. Congress.

The Biden administration's notification came after Erdoğan signed off on Sweden's accession to NATO - a development that caps off more than a year of negotiations.

Despite progress on the F-16 deal, Turkish authorities have maintained their desire to procure Eurofighter jets to diversify its defense acquisitions.

The source of contention in Berlin's hesitancy to sell the advanced jets lies in concerns related to the latter's natural gas drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, as reported by local media.

The reservations trace back to decisions made by the EU Council in 2019, where sanctions were imposed on Türkiye over its exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean...

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