ISTANBUL --- Turkey needs to be strong and establish a national defense industry, especially from its own sources, the undersecretary for defense industries said May 11.
“Therefore, our efforts will continue until we reach the best level at defense industry for our freedom and future,” Ismail Demir told Anadolu Agency at the 13th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul.
He acknowledged Turkey faces difficulties in reaching a $25 billion defense industry export targetas part of a series of objectives for the country’s centennial in 2023. Turkey’s defense export stood at $1.7 billion last year.
“However, we will work hard and continue intensive efforts to close the gap without revising those targets. Because it is not easy to compete with international players have been leading the sector for many years,” Demir said.
Demir noted Turkey had been in touch with countries from the Middle East, southeast Asia, Europe, South America and Africa to export the country’s recently produced defense industry platforms.
“We will evaluate every opportunity to reach our targets by expanding the defense industry sector and enhancing the international cooperation,” he said.
Demir was satisfied with the interest shown at the fair and said the presence of domestic companies in important exhibitions like the IDEF is vital for the national defense industry.
“It gives important clues about Turkey’s defense industry’s future exports,” he said. “We are expecting that interest for Turkish defense products from international and domestic customer will gradually increase.”
Nearly 800 companies from more than 50 countries are displaying the the latest vehicles, equipment and systems, security, and technologies in maritime, aviation and the space industries.
The fair hosts 493 high-level foreign delegates, including ministers, deputy ministers, chiefs of general staff, army commanders and defense procurement officials from 76 countries and international institutions.