Erdogan vows to boost Turkish defense industry
The Turkish president on Thursday vowed to further boost the country’s defense industry, according to Anadolu Agency.
“We can never tolerate procuring (defense-related) products from abroad when we can produce them ourselves,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the inauguration ceremony of a new facility for Turkish defense giant Aselsan.
“We will continue to provide all kinds of support to the defense industry,” Erdogan added.
Turkey’s top priority is to use “the resources we have to develop and strengthen our own defense industry,” he said.
Erdogan urged Turkish companies and professionals to put in their best efforts to support the sector.
“The defense industry of the world has a locomotive role in the development of all other technologies,” he said, adding any investment in the industry would contribute to the development of the country.
“If we have a serious current account deficit today, the role of the defense industry in minimizing this deficit cannot be denied,” he added.
Despite hurdles created by global suppliers, Erdogan said Turkey came out stronger than before by relying on its own strength.
He said that from 62 defense projects in 2002, the figure has grown to 700.
The Turkish president noted that Turkey increased the budget for its defense projects from $5.5 billion to $60 billion.
“Again in this period, the number of companies operating in the sector increased from 56 to 1,500,” Erdogan added.
The industry turnover increased from $1 billion to $11 billion, according to Erdogan.
“Our defense and aviation (sectors) exports increased from $248 million to $3 billion,” he said.