NATO, EU states interested in export of Turkish drones: Foreign minister
Sevil Erkuş - ANTALYA
Several European Union and NATO countries are interested in Turkish drones as well as Turkey’s defense industry in general, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Dec. 4.
“It is important for Poland to add these products to the inventory of a NATO and EU member for the first time after purchasing SİHAs [armed drones] from our country. Currently, many EU and NATO member countries are interested in our products,” Çavuşoğlu said, addressing the Global Strategies in Defense and Aerospace Industry Conference in the southern province of Antalya.
“I don’t want to express any name, but we continue our contacts with many countries in this regard,” he added.
If a window of opportunity for lasting peace is opening in the region today, the role played by Turkish defense industry products is obvious, he stated.
For its national security, Turkey needs to use its deterrent power together with diplomacy, Çavuşoğlu said, adding, “The greater the deterrent, the lower the risk of war. Deterrence from power serves peace.”
Stressing that the industry serves Turkey’s efficiency in foreign relations, the minister said the Foreign Ministry decided to establish a defense industry department in a bid to better coordinate efforts in this regard.
Çavuşoğlu noted that a letter of intent regarding the power group (engine and transmission) of the Altay national tank was signed with South Korea during his last visit to Seul.
“We are making our best contribution to the negotiations for the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Korean Defense Industry and the Turkish Defense Industry Presidency,” he added.
Defense Industry President İsmail Demir said, “The image of Turkey has changed in the eyes of other countries. Now an image of a strong, technology-producing Turkey has emerged.”
There has been a significant change in the perception of Turkey as a global power, Demir added.
Turkey’s defense industry exports close to $3 billion in 2021
Turkey’s exports in the defense and aerospace industry have reached $2.8 billion in the first 11 months of 2021, an increase of 40 percent compared to the previous year, Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) Chairperson Ismail Gülle said, addressing the conference.
This figure for 2021 would reach $3 billion when included December exports, reaching the highest amount for exports in the defense and aerospace industry, he stated.
Gülle noted that these exports were made to 172 countries and Turkey aims to increase its overall exports to $300 billion within the next five years.
Conference aims to discuss future strategies
The Global Strategies in Defense and Aerospace Industry Conference on Dec. 4-5 aimed to discuss future strategies for the sector with the participation of relevant partners, including private companies, Defense and Aerospace Industry Exporters’ Association chairman Naki Polat said in his opening speech.
Polat stressed that Turkey’s defense industry products became high profile in foreign markets. “Our country has become a brand. In the coming years, we will increase our exports to a higher league,” he stated.