Turkish gun exports to US hike amid ban row

Turkish gun exports to US hike amid ban row

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish gun exports to US hike amid ban row

Assault weapons and handguns are seen for sale at a arms supply store in the US. Turkey’s arms exports to US saw a 5.6 percent hike in two months. AP photo

The Turkish defense and aerospace industry has boosted its exports to the United States, where the possibility of gun restrictions has doubled sales of the weapons.

The U.S. has become the top market for Turkish arms and industrial goods as Turkey’s exports in January and February increased by 5.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

The potential gun control measures, projected to be adopted in the U.S. and backed by
President Barack Obama, have led to a surge in the demand for firearms.

Following the elementary school shooting in Connecticut that saw 20 children and six adults shot and killed, President Obama has delivered a plan for tightening the control of firearms in the U.S.
The number of FBI background checks required for Americans buying guns had set a record in December, indicating that more people may purchase one after the prompted renewed talks of limits on firearms, according to FBI data reported by Reuters.

The FBI said it recorded 2.78 million background checks during the month, surpassing the mark set in November of 2.01 million checks - about a 39 percent rise.

The surging market demand in the U.S. comes at a time when Turkey is redoubling its efforts to increase defense and aerospace exports abroad.

“Turkey could easily achieve its $25 billion arms trade target by 2023, with five or six Turkish companies ranking among the top 100 arms companies,” said Aral Aliş, chairman of the Union of Defense and Aerospace Industry Exporters (SSI) on the occasion of the “IWA Hunting and Sporting Arms Fair” held in the German city of Nuremberg.

SSI member companies

have also raised their export to the U.S. by 38 percent, up to $164 million, he said.

The prospect of reaching 1.5 billion worth of trade by the end of 2013 is not unrealistic for SSI, Alış said.

Turkish defense companies increased their exports to a strong $1.3 billion dollars last year, a 43 percent increase over 2011, according to new figures.

The United States topped the list of buyers by purchasing a massive $490 million worth of defense exports from Turkey over the year. The United Arab Emirates followed the U.S. at $101 million, while Saudi Arabia came third with $99 million in purchases. Most of the exported products were spare parts for airplanes and helicopters, turbojets and armored war vehicles.