Turkey says no freeze on deal to upgrade German-made tanks

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published
Men walk past a Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Leopard tank with a sold sign on it at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference, known by the acronym IDEX, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (AP Photo)
Men walk past a Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Leopard tank with a "sold" sign on it at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference, known by the acronym IDEX, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo)

Turkey dismissed reports of German caretaker government putting on hold a decision on upgrading German-made tanks in Turkey due to uncertainty over the formation of a new government.

Speaking to reporters following a news conference in Istanbul, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu said the meeting of a commission on the German-made Leopard 2 tanks was postponed and the move did not amount to halting defense industry cooperation between the two countries.

A German government spokesman said earlier that center-right Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat, had agreed Berlin would not decide on the Turkish request before both party blocs had sealed a new coalition deal.

Gabriel said in a statement that arms exports would be a big topic for discussion in negotiations on forming a new German coalition government, due to begin on Friday.

"For this reason, we in the caretaker government agree we don't want to anticipate the results of the current coalition negotiations, and we will wait for the formation of a new government before weighing up critical projects."

Çavuşoğlu said Turkey expects support and solidarity from its ally Germany in its fight against terrorism.

"While we fight with terrorists, we expect support and solidarity from Germany. We expect them to not support terrorists, but I know they are also under pressure," Çavuşoğlu said.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter