Greek PM Unhappy with German Sale of Attack Submarines to Turkey

Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung via Getty Images

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has spoken out against Germany’s plans to export Type 214 Class submarines to Turkey as tensions between the two NATO members are heightened.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis spoke out about the sale of the submarines by the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel after noting that the United States had brought sanctions against Turkey last year after it purchased the Russian-made S-400 missile system.

“Germany plans to export attack submarines to Turkey. This is an issue which concerns us,” Mitsotakis said during an online conference this week, Greek newspaper I Kathimerini reports.

The German government has largely ignored requests from Greece not to sell Turkey six of the Type 214 Class submarines despite the ongoing tensions caused last year by Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, which came close to bringing the two countries into military conflict.

A report from Forbes magazine released late last month noted the construction of the six submarines, along with Turkey’s first locally-built multi-purpose frigate, the TCG Istanbul, which was launched last month.

The report claimed that the Greek navy is lagging behind Turkey, stating, “Athens will almost certainly require newer and more modern warships to counter its rival Turkey’s rapidly growing naval strength.”

According to the Greek City Times, the Greek navy has just four of the type 214 class submarines which are considered to operate silently underwater.

Tensions between Greece and Turkey remain high despite Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming last month that he wanted to improve relations with the European Union, saying: “We are ready to get the relationship back on track. We expect our European friends to show the same goodwill.”

At the same time, Turkish government communications director Fahrettin Altun pushed the policy of the “Blue Homeland,” which states that Turkey has a claim to many of the waters Greece currently considers part of its own territory.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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