Defense Minister Yaşar Güler has voiced criticism against Germany's imposition of arms export restrictions on Turkey, arguing that such measures amount to a de facto embargo within NATO.

In an interview with the daily Milliyet on May 12th, Güler emphasized the strategic partnership between Turkey and Germany, highlighting the incongruity of a NATO member imposing restrictions on another.

Güler suggested that Germany's stance could be perceived as tacit support for withholding aid to Ukraine, noting that Berlin had previously curtailed arms export licenses to Turkey in response to military operations in northern Syria back in 2016.

The issue of Germany's arms export limitations on Turkey has gained prominence amid Turkey's pursuit of Eurofighter jets as an alternative to the recently approved F-16 acquisitions from the United States.

Germany, a significant producer of advanced jets, has yet to grant approval for the sale to proceed.

The finalized F-16 deal, valued at $23 billion, entails Turkey acquiring 40 new F-16s and upgrading 79 existing ones, following recent approval from the U.S. Congress.

The Biden administration's notification came after President Erdoğan endorsed Sweden's accession to NATO, concluding more than a year of negotiations.

Despite progress on the F-16 deal, Turkish authorities remain keen on procuring Eurofighter jets to diversify their defense acquisitions.

The reluctance of Berlin to sell the advanced jets stems from concerns related to Turkey's natural gas drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, as reported by local media.

These reservations trace back to decisions made by the EU Council in 2019, imposing sanctions on Turkey over its exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean amid tensions with Greece. Photo by Davide Olivati, Wikimedia commons.