Interest in Turkey’s defense industry increasing, official says
Sevil Erkuş - ANTALYA
Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) head İsmail Demir on March 12 said demand for Turkish defense industries is increasing over mounting tensions in the region.
He pointed at the fact that recent escalation between Ukraine and Russia triggered security concerns of countries in the region, which also raised the demand for the defense industries. Baltic and Balkan countries are in an “awareness and preparatory period” on enhancing their defense capacities, he told a group of journalists on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.
Turkey will become a popular country not only for its armed drones but also for a wide range of defense equipment, Demir added.
The official stressed that Turkey currently has no talks either with Russia and Ukraine on the issue of defense industries given the fact that the two parties are in a state of war.
The process on the S-400 missile defense system with Russia does not envisage a new step in the short period as well, he added.
“We’ll think about their fate [of the defense projects] when things calm down,” he said.
Elaborating on the use of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 armed drones by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in its war with Russia, Demir said, “Our point of view is that the products we deliver become the property of that country. That country is free to use them.”
“The source of the product may be Turkey, but it is now the property of that country. And the country can use its property as it wishes,” he stated, adding that Turkey also has been threatened by various weapons in some of its confrontations but that Ankara has never questioned the country of manufacture.
He reminded that a schedule is implemented for training and delivery of Turkish defense equipment to Ukraine. “According to the information of the SSB, there is no demand of training or delivery of equipment nowadays,” Demir stated.
The official emphasized that Turkey would not “add fuel to the fire” in the war between Russia and Ukraine.