Germany restricts arms sales to NATO partner Turkey, continuing to export weapons to countries involved in Yemen war
Ayhan Simsek – November 14, 2019
Egypt has become the second biggest customer of the German weapons industry with €800 million ($880 million) in purchases, according to the government’s arms exports report for the first half of this year.
The U.A.E., another actor involved in the Yemen conflict, ranked sixth among the biggest customers, with Berlin approving the sale of more than €206 million (over $226 million) worth of arms exports to this country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative-left coalition government promised last year to stop arms exports to countries intervening in Yemen’s civil war.
But the government has since attracted heavy criticism from the opposition as it continued arm deliveries to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the U.A.E.
Sales to Turkey remain at trickle
Germany’s arms exports to its NATO partner Turkey remained at very low levels in the first half of this year, due to restrictions imposed by the government.
Berlin approved the sale of nearly €26 million ($28.6 million) worth of arms to Ankara, well below Germany’s exports to Algeria (€170 million or $187.03 million), Kuwait (€74 million or $81.39 million) and India (€47 million or $51.69 million).
The German government restricted arms sales to Turkey in 2018, following Ankara’s launch of military operations against the YPG/PKK and Daesh/ISIS terrorist groups in northern Syria.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.