German technology in Turkish armed drones?

After the Left Party, the Greens are also discussing the use of Turkish armed drones against civilians in Kurdistan. The German Parliament faction demands clarification of the share of German technology in armed drones.

The Turkish state uses armed drones to commit massacres against the civilian population not only in the north, but also in the west and south of Kurdistan. Most recently, two people were killed on 25 June in a drone attack near the southern Kurdistan metropolis of Sulaymaniyah. Eight people were injured, some of them seriously, including women and children. Two days earlier, three Kurdish activists were killed with the same method in the village of Helîncê near Kobanê.

The massacres carried out by Turkey with armed drones have been taken up by the German opposition parties DIE LINKE and DIE GRÜNEN. Andrej Hunko, the European policy spokesman for the DIE LINKE parliamentary group in the German Parliament, has questioned the federal government on the matter.

Last week, Minister of State Niels Annen stated that Turkey had repeatedly been made clear that “the protection of the civilian population and the observance of international humanitarian law are of paramount importance. It is also the basic attitude of the Federal Government that any use of weapons must take place within the framework of the relevant rules of international law”.

Meanwhile, the Green parliamentary group in the German Parliament has submitted a question to the federal government regarding the export of anti-tank missiles and technology rights for their production to Turkey. In view of the repeated interventions of the Turkish military in northern Syria in recent years in violation of international law, and the recent increase in Turkish participation in the fighting in Libya, the question of whether and for what purposes Turkey can fall back on military capabilities in this connection, which would be due to a transfer of technology rights and technology from Germany, is gaining in importance, according to the question of the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group.

Specifically, the four-page enquiry concerns the warheads for the anti-tank missiles designated by the Turkish military as “UMTAS” or “Mızrak-U” and “MAM-L”, which are manufactured by the Turkish company Roketsan.

Civilians are killed by “MAM-L” missiles

The Green Group wants to know how many UMTAS warheads, which enable the Turkish army to carry out mass killings in all weather conditions, have been granted export licences since 2010. They are also asking whether the Turkish company Roketsan also integrates warheads for the MRAT and/or LRAT anti-tank missiles into other products – such as MAM-L (Smart Micro Ammunition).

According to an answer given by the German government to a question put by the Left parliamentary group in September 2018, approval was given between January and June of this year for two arms agreements between the Turkish state and the “intelligent missile” producing company TDW. Both agreements are reported to have a volume of 290,000 euros.

TDW is a German-based subsidiary of the MBDA group, which has developed a missile system and has French and Italian partners. ANF research has shown that TDW, with the agreement of the German government, has supplied the design for the OMTAS rockets, which the Erdogan government calls its own production.

It is said that the OMTAS, which was developed as an anti-tank missile, can also be used for Turkish military drones with the tandem warhead system produced by TDW. With the help of German technology, the 35-kilogram medium-range missiles have been equipped with an update system that can change its target even after firing. (ANF)