US reluctant to share defense tech: minister
ILGIN, Konya - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey seeks the software of F-35 fighter that it recently acquired from the US. REUTERS photoThe world’s biggest economies and not regional neighbors are Turkey’s new rivals, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz has said, citing the U.S. hesitation to share technology with Ankara as an example of the new situation.
“Our rivals are no longer the neighboring towns or provinces. The new competitors for the Turkish people are today those in Germany, France and the United States,” Yılmaz said during the opening ceremony of a school in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Ilgın district.
“During a recent visit to America, when asked about technology transfer to Turkey, [the officials] openly said that we were their rival. ‘Why should we transfer technology to you?’ they asked,” the minister said.
Yılmaz’s remarks came only days after news reports that Turkey was still bargaining for the software of F-35 fighter jets that it has decided to acquire from the U.S.
“When it comes to the plane’s software, we aren’t talking about purchasing all the codes, but just those that are the most essential for the plane’s freedom of operation. These are the codes that we are interested in acquiring,” Murad Bayar, undersecretary of the Defense Industry, said in an interview Jan. 13 in reference to the decisions from the most recent Defense Industry Executive Committee.
Turkey plans to buy two F-35s from the U.S. in 2015.