Turkey should have the ability to develop its own missile and space technologies in order to respond to security challenges that could arise from its neighbors, the prime minister has said, amid NATO’s concerns Ankara
will finalize a deal with a Chinese company for a $3.4 billion long-range missile defense system.
“Instabilities around us have clearly shown us that Turkey should develop its own missile technology and space technology. We should absolutely have one of the world’s most important infrastructures in missile and space technologies if we want to secure our survival in the next century,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
said in an address on the occasion of the opening ceremony of a military logistic facility in the central Anatolian city of Konya March 24.
Davutoğlu’s remarks came at a moment when Turkey is about to give its final decision about a tender for the procurement of its first long-range missile defense system from China. Turkish defense officials justify the selection because its top priority is to bolster its own technological ability and the Chinese offer also includes a technology transfer, unlike its United States and European competitors.
Turkey has achieved the capacity to test some defense industry technologies, Davutoğlu said, touching on the necessity of developing its national defense capacity along with its capacity under the NATO
umbrella. “We are about to submit the bill of the Space Agency [to parliament]. Geographies are the fates of the countries. It’s necessary to be powerful in order to survive on these soils. These soils are of gold value,” he stated.
Aside from investing in technologies, one other precaution countries should take is to reinforce citizenship identity, regardless of ethnic differences, Davutoğlu said, stressing the ongoing Kurdish peace process is aiming to develop this identity.
“What we want to do with the peace process is avoid dangerous ethnic and sectarian divisions in Turkey in the way some other countries would face,” he said adding they are trying to stop those who want to create discrimination and separatism within society.