Statement of RWTH Aachen on Feasibility Study for Factory in Karasu, Turkey


Statement of RWTH Aachen on feasibility study for factory in Karasu, Turkey


As reported in "stern" magazine on August 31, 2017, the RWTH Aachen Laboratory for Machine Tools WZL was briefly charged with a feasibility study for a factory in Karasu this past year. This should never have occured and RWTH Aachen representatives deeply regret this decision.

The focus of study was a factory to manufacture special vehicles – trucks and people transporters. The study began in August 2016. Tanks and combat vehicles were never an element of the contract. A commission for a report on such services would have been categorically denied. Neither the Turkish company BMC nor Rheinmetall served as the contracting authority.

Only once the contract began, was there a request to expand the study to include APC, AIFV, and MBT aspects. Immediately thereafter WZL discontinued the study and prematurely ended the contract. It also only submitted a restricted presentation of the results. Regrettably, the APC, AIFV, and MBT data still contained in the study were apparently provided by an third party. In retrospect the contractor erred in even providing the results.

RWTH is not only legally bound to peaceful research but fundamentally does not conduct any armaments research. The University makes this perfectly clear. Accordingly, the contract was ended before it was completed. The data available to us at the time of the contract arrangement gave no indication that the contract would develop in such a manner. The WZL administration likewise emphasizes that the contracting authority and background should always be reviewed, as they were in this case.