The Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK) delivered Turkey’s indigenous infantry rifle (MPT-76) to the Defense Ministry on Jan. 11.
Speaking at an event to mark the delivery, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said the rifles were developed with “local and national opportunities” and will be used in all kinds of land and air conditions. Işık said production of the first batch of rifles had been completed and delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
“This soil didn’t become our homeland easily. We need a very strong democracy, economy and a powerful armed forces like bread and water in order for this soil to remain our homeland,” he said, while thanking all who worked on the development of the MPT-76 rifle.
Işık also noted that Turkey was nearly 80 percent foreign-dependent 14 or 15 years ago in the defense area, but today this ratio has fallen to 40 percent.
“Our aim is to decrease that ratio below 20 percent. Turkey is now at a point where it is not looking at other countries with awe, but rather makes other countries look at it with awe,” he added.
Undersecretary of Defense Industries İsmail Demir gave a MPT-76 rifle to Land Forces Commander Gen. Salih Zeki Çolak during the ceremony.
After the ceremony ended, Çolak and Işık went to a nearby shooting range to test firing of the rifle.