Germany rejects arms exports to Turkey due to human rights violations: Report

BERLIN – Germany has rejected an unusually high number of requests for arms exports to Turkey in recent months due to mounting concerns about deteriorating human rights in the NATO country, the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on March 21.

The report cited an economy ministry written response to a question by lawmaker Jan van Aken, in which the ministry said it had rejected 11 requests for arms exports to Turkey since November last year.

That represented a sharp rise in refusals when compared with the eight rejections recorded in total between 2010 and 2015, according to the newspaper.

According to German government figures, the federal government had rejected eleven individual arms shipments starting November 2016, compared to only eight between 2010 and 2015. The most recent refusals involved weapons, ammunitions and parts for the manufacture of certain armaments.

Relations between Germany and Turkey soared after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 in Turkey.

Germany and other European countries criticized Turkey’s crackdown on the members of the Gülenist movement, which is headed by U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen and the Turkish government accuses it of orchestrating the coup attempt.

The two countries’ relations worsened after Germany banned rallies set to be attended by Turkish ministers before a constitutional referendum on April 16.