DUESSELDORF (Reuters) - Germany is banning defense contractor Rheinmetall from shipping some products to Turkey amid a row over campaign appearances by Turkish officials to drum up support for a referendum that could boost President Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.
“The German government is currently denying clearance for some export contracts”, Rheinmetall Chief Executive Armin Papperger told reporters on Thursday after the release of its full-year results.
He said Rheinmetall remained in talks with Turkey over a contract to supply a defense system for its Leopard battle tanks, after the country lost 10 such vehicles in its war against the Islamic State.
Rheinmetall and peer Krauss Maffei jointly build the Leopard tanks.
Erdogan said on Wednesday that Europeans would not be able to walk safely on the streets if they kept up their current attitude towards Turkey, his latest salvo in the row over campaigning by Turkish politicians in Europe.
Reporting by Anneli Palmen; writing by Arno Schuetze; editing by David Clarke