Turkey’s defense industry under Erdogan

Turkey’s defense industry under Erdogan

Turkish weaponry, primarily its drones, have made headlines as Ukraine has reportedly used them quite effectively against Russian troops. Turkish weapons have also shaped the outcomes of several recent clashes in the Middle East and beyond. This is a result of Turkey’s efforts to develop an indigenous defense industry, a key goal of President Erdogan.

Expert Aykan Erdemir joins our host Thanos Davelis to discuss the recent trends in Turkey’s defense industry and identify the policy challenges it presents for the United States and its allies.

We also look at the links between Turkish business tycoons like Ethem Sancak and the defense industry, and discuss Sancak’s role in facilitating the Kremlin’s influence operations in the West by promoting an anti-Western worldview that mirrors Russia’s talking points.

Erdemir is the senior director of the Turkey program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former member of the Turkish parliament.