The German government is facing harsh criticism by opposition parties after photographs of the Turkish army invading using German Leopard tanks surfaced. As DW reports:
Germany’s government has faced a slew of criticism over German-made tanks that Turkey deployed in its push into Syria. Some politicians have called for an immediate halt to arms exports to Turkey and nixing a key deal.
Opposition politicians in Germany responded with outrage to the photos of German-made Leopard tanks being used by the Turkish army in their Syrian offensive. The intervention, which entered its fourth day on Tuesday, is unpopular with the German public.
“The German government must not look away again and needs to clearly state its position on the Turkish military offensive against Kurds in Syria,” said lawmaker and defense expert for Germany’s Green party Agnieszka Brugger.
Read more: NATO allies clash as Turkey attacks US-backed Kurds in Syria
She also slammed Berlin’s manner of dealing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that the course set by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel was a “disastrous failure.”
“An immediate halt to all arms exports to Turkey is long overdue,” Brugger told the Heilbronner Stimme newspaper.
Senior lawmaker Jan Korte from the Left party called on Angela Merkel to provide an official explanation of her government’s policy on Turkey. He added that the current caretaker cabinet needed to specify “how they mean to respond in the next weeks and months” to the Syria escalation.
The criticism comes at an awkward moment for Germany’s top officials, as Berlin recently engaged in tentative rapprochement with Ankara after a plunge in bilateral ties. Part of the thaw is the deal pushed by Foreign Minister Gabriel to provide Turkish tanks with better mine-protection gear. Other upgrades were reportedly also in store for hundreds of German-made tanks used by the Turkish army.
Even politicians from Angela Merkel’s CDU party called on Gabriel to halt the deal after the publication of photos showing Leopards on the ground in Syria. Norbert Röttgen, who chairs Bundestag’s foreign policy committee, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily that the Turkish attack was a violation of international law.
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