“German submarines strengthen Turkey’s aggressive policies in the Mediterranean,” says Die Linke
“ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) will deliver six submarines to Ankara to be built together with a Turkish company,” according to a news release published by German broadcasting network ARD’s Tagesschau.
(In 2009 the German government had given its consent to the production of submarines for the Turkish navy).
This information comes from the German Government’s written response to a related query by the Die Linke party, a response now in the hands of Tagesschau. The response states that the federal government had issued the construction license for the submarines. In 2011 Germany also took out export guarantees amounting to almost EUR 2.5 billion.
According to ARD’s Tagesschau, the actual construction work on the submarines started in 2015, 2016, and 2017 respectively, that means it continued after the failed coup d’état in Turkey, which resulted in mass arrests.
“German-exported weapons of war, assembled in Turkey in the form of hunter submarines, are perfectly suited to Turkey’s aggression policy in the Mediterranean,” said Sevim Dagdemén, deputy parliamentary spokesman for the Die Linke party. In addition, it includes a “significant transfer of technology to Turkey.”
Arms exports to Turkey are extremely controversial in Germany. A few weeks ago, the federal government had stopped selling tanks.
Just a few months ago, it became known that the Federal Government of Germany approved significant arms exports to Turkey already at the beginning of the year. According to Der Spiegel, Berlin had approved exports of military equipment with a total value of about 14m euros between July 31st of last year and January 15th of this year.
Arms exports to Turkey have sparked intense complaint when people were seeing photos of German Leopard tanks being used to attack on Kurdish military groups in Syria. Subsequently, then-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel withdrew his offer to upgrade the Turkish Leopard tanks. Already last summer Gabriel had promised a more restrictive arms export policy.