Turkey claims local industry boom after arms sales frozen by Germany

ANKARA, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Germany's freezing of weapon exports to Turkey could only boost local Turkish arms industry, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

Berlin announced Monday to put most arms exports to Turkey on hold amid ongoing tensions between the two countries.

These kinds of approaches actually help strengthen Turkish defense industry, Cavusoglu said at a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

"In this sense we increase national and local production in all areas. We produce our own fighter jets and helicopters. Turkey is never desperate," he said, quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency.

Cavusoglu slammed German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who announced the arms-import-freezing decision, saying that attempts to win more votes by attacking Turkey ahead of Germany's election late this month would not work.

Meanwhile, Cavusoglu praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel's remarks opposing a blanket ban on arms exports to Turkey, describing it as "correct and more mature."

Speaking to German public radio NDR on Tuesday, Merkel rejected calls by opposition parties for a total ban on arms sales to Turkey, underlining Turkey's important role as a partner in the fight against international terrorism.

Ties between the NATO allies have been strained by disputes over the arrests of German nationals with suspected links to illegal or terrorist groups, while Berlin demanded their immediate release.

Berlin is also reluctant to take stronger measures against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the EU.

[ Editor: meng ]


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