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Turkey Has Its Own International Arms Show In May

March 12, 2015

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If there’s one country that deserves an award for thriving in a bad neighborhood, it’s Turkey. With two civil wars along its southern border (Syria + Iraq), international pariah Iran to its east, and the Ukrainian-Russian conflict dragging on across the Black Sea, not to mention the mini-Cold War between Armenia and Azerbaijan simmering at its doorstep, Turkey preserves its peace and quietly goes about the business of arming itself.

Since the dawn of the 21st century Turkey appears to have followed a comprehensive, if ill-defined, road map for becoming a regional military power. For perspective, 15 years ago the Turkish armed forces was equipped with NATO’s surplus.

15 years later and Turkey’s aerospace sector assembles helicopters, medium transports, and fighter jets. Its shipyards are exporting offshore patrol vessels and corvettes.

No longer content as an importer, Turkish factories are rolling out armored cars, tanks, surface-to-air missiles, munitions, and small arms on par with those made in the US and Western Europe. The Turkish Army is the largest customer and licensed-manufacturer of the world’s most advanced self-propelled artillery system.

Turkish companies are now capable of launching satellites and UAVs and are making enormous strides in materials science, communications, and robotics.

Every two years all these developments converge and gather under one roof in an event called the International Defense Industry Fair or IDEF. Yes, it’s a Turkish arms show.

21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for IDEF 2015.

IDEF 2015 is taking place from May 5 to 8 in Istanbul’s immense Tüyap Fair Convention and Congress Center. As the 12th installment since it first launched in the late 90s, this year’s IDEF is organized by Tüyap, an events company, on behalf of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TAFF) and the Ministry of Defense.

IDEF 2015 exists to attract buyers to Turkish defense contractors, a one stop shop for everything a country’s armed forces might need–land, air, sea, and space. Hopefully, international deals are struck too since these make good material for publicity purposes.

Below is the latest press release from the organizer:

IDEF’15 is a promotional center and market for all participating countries and defense industry exhibitors.

The previous IDEF’13 saw an increase in the rate of senior executive delegations responsible for defense related procurement by 17%. That year, the rate of participating countries grew by 23% and exhibit space by 21%, meeting its objectives in these areas. There were 2,200 bilateral meetings organized during IDEF’13.

IDEF’15 will continue to be a platform for participants to follow up on technological developments in their field as well as an opportunity to build international collaborations in supply programs.

The upcoming IDEF’15 hosts defense ministers of allied countries, chiefs of general staff, high ranking military and civilian authorities, and decision makers in supply and defense equipment.

These VIPs are can exchange opinions and experiences, while local and international industry companies will be able to build significant commercial networks through meetings with them. As of today, IDEF’15 is preparing to host 283 delegates from 126 countries. These include five major international corporations and armaments directors from three countries.

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