Turkish companies’ arms sales rose 24 percent last year
“This significant increase reflects Turkey’s ambitions to develop its arms industry to fulfil its growing demand for weapons and become less dependent on foreign suppliers,” said Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Program.
The data regarding Turkey include the combined arms sales of the two Turkish companies in the Top 100 lists, namely ASELSAN, which produces electronics, and Turkish Aerospace Industries, which produces aircraft.
According to SIPRI data, ASELSAN’s sales increased by 29 percent to $1.42 billion in 2017 while sales by Turkish Aerospace Industries stood at $1.22 billion last year, a 19 percent increase from 2016.
When unveiling his government’s ambitious 100-day action plan in August, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that 48 out of the total 400 projects to be carried out under the plan are regarding the defense industry as his government aimed to zero its dependence on foreign supplies.
“When we took power, our Undersecretariat for Defense Industries was only able to meet 25 percent of our defense needs. Now this figure increased to 65 percent. At a time when our country is facing threats and pressure, the field of the defense industry will always remain very important for us. Therefore, no matter what the conditions are, the defense industry will be a field in which we will never make concessions from realizing our projects,” Erdoğan said.