Turkey aims to establish independent defense industry, says minister

Turkey aims to establish independent defense industry, says minister

Turkey aims to establish independent defense industry, says minister

Establishing an indigenous defense industry is among Turkey’s priorities, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said on Dec. 13.

“Our aim was not to become a subcontractor of international defense industry producers but to create a fully independent Turkish defense industry,” he said, speaking at the Turkish Defense Industry Summit held at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.

“We stand on our way with the same discipline and determination at every stage; from strategy to original design, infrastructure establishment to technology development, and final product to commercialization,” Varank added.

An innovative step in defense industries may serve as a locomotive in a number of sectors such as electronics, control systems, avionics, metallurgy, petrochemicals and software, the minister stressed.

“Technologies developed in the defense industry also serve for civilian use and contribute to socio-economic development,” Varank said.

Mentioning the effect of the defense industry on value added production, Varank said it takes the country to higher levels rapidly in global competition.

“We mobilize all our opportunities for the projects that will bring technological superiority to our country,” he said.

Sixty-five percent of the products Turkey uses in its defense operations is indigenous, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech on Sept. 22.

Erdoğan noted that Turkey would have faced enormous challenges during operations in Turkey and abroad “if we had not reached this level” in the defense industry.

He said the achievement was only possible by transforming Turkey into a technology-producing country.

The arms sales of Turkish companies rose by 24 percent in 2017, according to a report released on Dec. 10 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

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.