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Germany puts arms exports to Turkey on hold, FM Gabriel says

GERMANY PUTS ARMS EXPORTS TO TURKEY ON HOLD, FM GABRIEL SAYS

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced Monday that his country put most arms exports to Turkey on hold amid ongoing tensions between the two countries.

"We have put on hold all big requests (for arms exports) that Turkey has sent to us, and these are really not a few," Gabriel said, speaking to a panel organized by German economy newspaper Handelsblatt.

The German foreign minister highlighted that Berlin is obliged to send arms to a NATO ally, if requested.

He noted that there may be a few exemptions to this, including international agreements requiring the government to export vehicles and more.

Ties between Turkey and Germany have been strained since last year, as Turkish leaders slammed Germany for not showing strong solidarity with Ankara against the July 15 coup attempt, and for turning a blind eye to the continued activities of FETÖ in the country.

Ankara has singled out Germany among European countries for embracing some 250 fugitive diplomats and soldiers accused of involvement in the coup with suspected links to FETÖ. A report titled "The FETÖ Settlement in Germany and Germany's FETÖ Policy," says that FETÖ has been using Germany as its main functioning center and that German authorities have embraced the structures of the group with open arms.

Unconfirmed reports say that about 4,000 FETÖ suspects left for Germany after the coup attempt

Media linked to FETÖ claim that the terror group has around 70,000 followers on German soil.

Germany's uncooperative stance with regard to FETÖ has been a source of recent tension between Ankara and Berlin.

The spat has also cast clouds over a 2016 deal between Ankara and the EU that has stemmed the mass influx of migrants and refugees into the block.

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