The Latest: Germany put defense exports to Turkey on hold

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on Germany's tougher stance on Turkey following the jailing of a human rights activist (all times local):

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4:15 p.m.

Germany's Economy Ministry says it's putting all applications for the export of defense equipment to Turkey under examination.

The German news agency dpa reported that the ministry didn't give further details Friday. The Bild daily had reported earlier in the day that the government was putting all current and planned defense exports to Turkey, a NATO ally, on hold.

The German government sharpened its tone toward Ankara on Thursday following the jailing earlier this week of six human rights activists in Turkey, including a German citizen. It also told German citizens traveling to Turkey to exercise caution and threatened to withhold backing for investments.

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3:15 p.m.

Turkey's president has accused Germany's government of trying to scare off investments to Turkey with lies, after Germany toughened its stance toward Ankara following the arrest of human rights activists, including a German national.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Friday he "strongly condemned" Germany's economy minister after she suggested that German companies operating in Turkey could show up on black lists and branded as terror supporters.

Erdogan said he had checked with intelligence and interior ministry officials who confirmed that no German company was under investigation.

"I strongly condemn statements that aim to scare companies that invest in our country," Erdogan said.

He added: "I want to remind our German friends and the world that you are not powerful enough to blacken Turkey. You are not powerful enough to scare us."

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2:15 p.m.

Turkey's prime minister has sought to downplay worries of growing tensions between Turkey and Germany following the jailing of six human rights activists, which included one German.

Binali Yildirim said Turkey continues to regard Germany as a "strategic partner in Europe" and that now and then there may be "tensions in the relations due to considerations caused by domestic politics."

Yildirim urged "cool-headedness" and said there is "no benefit to Germany or to Turkey if relations are damaged."

Yildirim's comments came a day after Germany toughened its stance toward Ankara following the jailing of six human rights activists, which included four Turks, a Swede as well as the German.

Berlin told German citizens traveling to Turkey to exercise caution and threatened to withhold backing for investments.

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8:50 a.m.

Germany's finance minister is comparing Turkey with communist East Germany after his government toughened its stance toward Ankara following the jailing of a German human rights activist.

The government a day earlier told German citizens traveling to Turkey to exercise caution and threatened to withhold backing for investments.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Friday's edition of Bild newspaper that Turkey is now arresting people arbitrarily and failing to comply with minimum consular standards.

He was quoted as saying: "It reminds me of how things used to be in East Germany. It was clear to anyone who traveled there: if something happens to you, no one can help you."

Schaeuble added that if Turkey doesn't stop playing "games," Germany will have to tell people: "You travel to Turkey at your own risk."