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03:50 PM, July 21, 2017
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Germany Freezes Arms Sales To Turkey
German Weapons

Germany has frozen all arms shipment to Turkey, following Ankara’s arrest of many human rights activists, including a German national.

Berlin issued its travel advisory Thursday for Turkey. It also warned that it would review state guarantees for foreign investment there. Turkey called the measures as "blackmail and threats".

The latest move came after a Turkish court on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for six human rights activists for allegedly helping a “terror” group, among them German citizen Peter Steudtner. The arrests further strained the already tarnished relations between the two NATO allies.

Germany is also “freezing all planned and ongoing arms deliveries to Turkey,” the top-circulation Bild newspaper reported. 

 “we will at any time consider whether further measures are necessary.” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-hand man, Peter Altmaier warned. Ties between Turkey and Germany, home to three million ethnic Turks, have been strained, particularly after the failed coup last year. 

In the months after the July 2016 coup attempt, Germany already blocked 11 separate arms export shipments to Turkey, including handguns, ammunition or weapons components, according to media reports. 

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said “Turkey is arresting people arbitrarily and not respecting even minimal consular standards. It reminds me of the way it was in the GDR. When you travelled there, you knew if something happens to you, no one can help you,”.

Altmaier also stated that Berlin would urge Belgium to freeze 4.45 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in EU funds theoretically earmarked until the end of 2020 for Turkey, a long-term aspirant for membership to the bloc.    

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