Türkiye will end the year with more than $5.5 billion arms exports. Among many reasons for the boost in arms sales, its fight with the PKK terrorism comes first.
Fighting the Kurdish seperatist group since 1984, Turkish state has faced many obstacles, particularly the arms embargo of its NATO allies. After understanding that it can’t maintain its struggle with terrorism with imported weapons, Turkish government launched an indigenization of weapons project in 2005.
Since then, it has produced various advanced weapons such as armed drones, guided munitions, missiles, helicopters and armored vehicles. Indigenous jets and tanks will also be in inventory within five years. As it adds new weapons to its sales list every year, the amount of exports is expected to rise sharply year on year.
Besides paralyzing the PKK terrorist organization with its new weapons, particularly drones, Türkiye’s becoming an arms producer came as a surprise by many countries, thus many of them have become buyers of Turkish weapons. Turkish companies sign contracts with new countries almost every month. From South America to South Asia, Turkish weapons can be found used by armies now.
Analysts argue that this success stems from country’s fight with terrorism. They claim that Turkish government wouldn’t be so assertive in weapons production, had it not fought terrorism. Meanwhile, with advanced weapons, Türkiye has also become a regional power, analysts add. Türkiye has around 10 military bases in different countries.