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(en) KARAKÖK AUTONOME TR/CH: NGOs against German arms trade with Turkey
Thu, 12 Apr 2018 10:17:03 +0300
German Christian democrats/Social Democrats governments are known for granting approval to
sale arms worth billions of euro to crisis and war zones. Foreign and finance minister,
Sigmar Gabriel, stands out as a hard worker for the weapons lobby, and has topped
Germany's arms sales. ---- The coalition government SPD-Christian Democrats (CDU), led by
Angela Merkel, announced that arms sales would be done with extreme care. Nonetheless, the
lack of sensitivity when it comes to arms exports and the signing of the latest arms trade
agreements during the 4th Merkel government have mobilized civil society organizations.
---- More than a hundred NGOs decided to monitor the Berlin government's green light to
arms trade and set up an International Information Network called "Global Net - Stop the
Arms trade". The Network was officially presented on Thursday at a press conference in Berlin.
Leopard tanks under the spotlight
The information network brings together organizations from many countries outside Germany.
They all focus on Erdogan and his arms deals. German-made Lepoard II tanks used by the
Turkish army in the massacre and occupation of Afrin will also be investigated for crimes
committed in the region.
The Information Network, which will examine whether the military supplies sold are within
the framework of agreements approved by the government, will publish results of its
investigations on a platform published on Internet. Investigations will be carried out
interviewing journalists, war correspondents, doctors and activists.
Jürgen Grässlin, an activist speaking at the press conference said: "The weapons industry
is a long and well-established organization worldwide. This is why, to counter it, today
more than ever we need a strong and well-organized peace movement."
Grässlin added that the Network will investigate legal and illegal weapons sales around
the world and underlined that "if we detect illegal sales we will file criminal charges
immediately". ?Activist Grässlin noted that not only Germany's weapons sales are on the
spotlight, but also every sale carried out by any other country will be soon investigated.
Special attention is to be paid to the US $110 billion weapon deal with Saudi Arabia.
Grässlin also underlined that as far as arms sales to Turkey go, Germany has certainly set
an example in history for it. Stating that Leopard II tanks killed Kurds in Afrin,
Grässlin added that Saudi Arabia is also using German weapon technology in Yemen.
In the coalition agreement of the new Merkel government, formed last March, remarks were
made especially on the issue of arms trade with Saudi Arabia: "The federal government
envisages that the countries involved in the war in Yemen should not be sold arms".
However, it turned out that the Merkel government had forgotten these remarks and
continued with arms sales since its establishment. Likewise since 20 January 2018 when
Turkey begun its attacks and subsequent invasion of Afrin, 4 million 400 thousand euros
worth of items such as bullets were sold to Turkey.
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