'Germany aside, Turkey will pursue defense projects'
Turkish defense industry head Ismail Demir says Ankara will continue its projects despite current dispute with Germany
Regardless of whatever decisions Germany may take, Turkey will continue to pursue projects for a self-sufficient military apparatus, a top Turkish defense official said on Saturday.
If, as some media reports claim, Germany halts defense industry projects with Turkey, "maybe this would slow down some projects, but it would not affect the outcome. It would boost our motivation for national and local systems," Ismail Demir, undersecretary for the Turkish defense industry, told Anadolu Agency.
Amid tensions with Ankara, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday that Berlin would not encourage German businesses to invest in Turkey, nor would it provide investment guarantees to such companies.
German dailies have also claimed that Berlin would freeze defense projects with Turkey.
Ties between Ankara and Berlin have been strained in recent months as Turkish leaders slammed Germany for turning a blind eye to the activities of outlawed groups and terrorist organizations hostile to Turkey.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which organized the defeated coup bid in Turkey last year that martyred 250 people, has a large network in Germany, which is home to more than 3 million Turkish immigrants.
Since the coup attempt, nearly 4,000 FETO suspects have come to Germany from Turkey and other countries, according to local media reports.
Apart from FETO, the terrorist PKK also has a large network in Germany and carries out significant propaganda, recruitment, and funding activities.
While Turkish leaders have slammed German authorities for not showing solidarity in the fight against terrorism, German politicians have criticized Turkey over human rights and press freedom issues.