Greece repeated over the weekend a call to Germany to suspend the export of military equipment to Turkey over Ankara’s aggressive policies in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In an article in Die Welt newspaper, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias urged Germany to halt the sale of submarines to Turkey, saying that the move would upset the existing power balance and enable Ankara to destabilize the Eastern Mediterranean.
Dendias said that the Type 214 class German submarines – the Hellenic Navy currently has four such vessels – “give us a strategic advantage in the Southeast Mediterranean and the Aegean.”
“If Germany delivers [these vessels], Turkey will again have an advantage against Greece,” he said.
Ankara has ordered six Type 214 submarines.
In October, Berlin dismissed Greece’s calls for an arms embargo to Turkey. The Foreign Ministry said that the federal government follows “a restrictive and responsible weapons exports policy.”
It added that licenses for exports of arms to Turkey is “very low,” and are granted “after careful consideration and through the prism of foreign and security policy parameters.”
Turkey is the #1 recipient of German arms exports
However, a classified document revealed by the German Press Agency (DPA) in June, said that Turkey is the #1 recipient of German arms exports for the second year running.
According to the document, Turkey received 344.6 million euros worth of weapons last year from Germany, which amounts to more than one third of Germany’s total weapons exports.
After the invasion of Turkish troops into Syria in October of 2019, Germany’s federal government had imposed a partial arms export ban on Turkey. However, this only applies to weapons that could be used in the Syrian war.
According to the document, the weapons delivered last year were exclusively for “maritime” purposes.
Die Welt noted that although Berlin is publicly critical of Turkey’s actions in regional conflicts including Syria or Libya, it continues to export large quantities of arms to Ankara.