Former factory head gets 13 years for exploiting state secrets
ANKARAA Turkish state weapons factory head was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison on Dec. 29 for trying to sell Turkish weapons designs to a U.S. company, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Mustafa Tanrıverdi, who headed a small arms weapon factory for Turkey’s state Machinery and Chemical Industry Institution (MKE), was found guilty of trying to sell design and production plans for an MP-5 sub-machine gun for $70,000 and a MPT-76 national infantry rifle for $300,000 to an official working for a U.S. firm.
Ankara’s 4th Criminal Court of First Instance handed down a prison sentence of 12 years and eight months following Tanrıverdi’s arrest in April over charges of exploiting state secrets and disloyalty to state services.
Tanrıverdi was arrested on April 7 in Ankara after allegedly trying to sell weapon designs to a U.S. company.
The MPT-76, using the Turkish acronym for “national infantry rifle,” is designed and produced by the government-owned Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation or MKEK.
The MPT-76 is composed of around 200 parts, all of which are currently produced. The Heckler & Koch G3 battle rifles in the military are, however, expected to be replaced.
The gun has a shooting range of 400 meters, weighs 4.3 kilograms and extends 88 centimeters in length. It also has a 7.62-millimeter caliber that was designed for all altitude, weather and terrain conditions.
The first batches of the MPT-76 were delivered to the army in 2014. The factory is also expected to deliver a total of 500 MPT-76 rifles to the Turkish Armed Forces in 2016.
The MPT-76 has also seen demand from countries including the United States, Chile and Azerbaijan.
The rifle passed 42 NATO tests, becoming the first rifle to pass the test without a mistake.