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Iran Press TV

Germany 'halts all arms shipment to Turkey'

Iran Press TV

Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:8AM

Germany has frozen all arms shipment to Turkey after Ankara arrested several human rights activists, including a German national.

The Bild newspaper reported on Friday that Germany was "freezing all planned and ongoing arms deliveries to Turkey."

In the months after the July 2016 abortive coup in Turkey against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Germany had already blocked 11 separate arms shipments to Turkey, including handguns, ammunition, and weapons components.

The latest move came after a Turkish court on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for six human rights activists for allegedly aiding a "terror" group, among them German citizen Peter Steudtner.

The arrests further strained the already tarnished relations between the two NATO allies.

Relations between Turkey and Germany, which is home to three million ethnic Turks, have been badly strained over what Europeans describe as Turkey's human rights violations.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble criticized Turkey for acting like the former Communist East Germany.

He advised Germans traveling to Turkey to be careful not to get arrested as the crackdown against opposition and dissent continues.

"If Turkey does not stop playing this little game, we need to tell people: 'You travel to Turkey at your own risk – we can't guarantee you anything anymore,'" Schaeuble separately told Bild.

"Turkey is arresting people arbitrarily and not respecting even minimal consular standards," said Schaeuble, comparing Erdogan's Turkey with the former communist German Democratic Republic (GDR).

"It reminds me of the way it was in the GDR. When you traveled there, you knew, if something happens to you, nobody can help you," he said.

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