Future of Turkey’s progressing defence industry remains uncertain

More than a third of the Turkish defence exports in 2018 were to the United States

With the future of Ankara’s participation in the F-35 programme in doubt, and the country in the midst of an economic downturn, a series of issues face Turkey’s defence industry, Bulent Aliriza, director and senior associate on the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Defense News website.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made growing the country’s defence industry a long-term goal since early days in power, however by his “self-proclaimed yardstick, the sector is not where he wants it to be”, Aliriza stressed.

Under Erdogan’s direction, around 65 percent of the sector is now indigenous, compared to 20 percent when he came to power in 2003, along with defence exports of over $2 billion last year, he highlighted.

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