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Turkey Defence Week 2015 Begins Today

November 10, 2015

Turkish T-129 attack helicopter

A special workshop on industrial participation and offset guidelines will be held at the Mövenpick Hotel, Ankara, today as part of Turkey Defence Week. The three-day conference (November 10-12) organized by International Research Networks (IRN) is a summit for members of the military, government, and private sector to discuss dual-use modern technologies in a diversified economy.

The emphasis, of course, is in their application to weapon systems.

Billed as a VIP event, Turkey Defence Week involves multiple NATO delegates and the special participation of the Turkish military, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, the Undersecretariat of Defense Industries, and the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation–an entity that operates like a holding firm for multiple defense contractors.

21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for Turkey Defence Week.

Turkey’s armed forces have undergone a remarkable transformation in the last 25 years. Recognized as the NATO member with the largest military whose unique position straddles Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, the country is poised to become a major arms exporter as a result of its industrial policies.

Today’s workshop covers four broad subjects relevant to Turkey’s current position as a regional leader in military technology and the climate for foreign investment. These are:

  • The Ministry of National Defense’s procurement rules.
  • How small and medium-sized defense contractors can do business in Turkey.
  • The nuts and bolts of operating a business in Turkey.
  • The long-term prospects of Turkey’s defense and aerospace sector until 2023.

The emphasis on attracting foreign defense contractors willing to offset and share their technologies is deliberate. After all, the Turkish military’s impressive arsenal was developed by joint ventures and reverse engineering a variety of hardware from the US, UK, Israel, Germany, South Korea, France, China, and even Russia. This approach catapulted Turkey from import reliance to a successful track record of international exports.

The Turkish military’s progress is a result of extensive government support and a rising defense budget that is now the 14th largest in the world and the second largest among Muslim countries after Saudi Arabia.