SIPRI: Turkey Arms Exports Grew by 69 per cent in 2018-2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits a drone factory. Photo: Turkish Presidency

Turkey's global share of the trade also increased in the period 2018-2022, by 0.5 per cent. Turkey's arms exports comprise 1.1 per cent of all global arms exports.

According to the SIPRI report, its top three customers are Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman. The three Middle Eastern countries' imports from Turkey make up half of its total arms sales.

SIPRI noted that Turkey's arms trade changed dramatically in the last five years, reflecting its shifting and often ambivalent foreign policy priorities.

"The US's arms exports to its NATO ally Turkey were at a low level in 2018-22 as a result of increasingly strained bilateral relations. Turkey was the 27th largest recipient of US arms in 2018-22, down from 7th largest in 2013-17," the SIPRI report wrote.

Turkey's defence industry has improved in the last decade, with the country producing its own armed drones, tanks, helicopters, missiles and immunation.

According to the Turkish Defence Ministry, the defence industry now supplies 80 per cent of its military's equipment and weaponry. The figure was only 20 per cent in 2004.

Turkey's arms export, especially armed drones, made headlines since they changed the fate of several wars, including Libya's local war, the Azerbaijani-Armenian war and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

SIPRI also noted that Turkey has strengthened its navy due to growing tensions with Greece in the East Med and Aegean Sea.

"Turkey is able to produce most types of warships but has six submarines on order from Germany for delivery in 2023-27 and an amphibious assault ship on order from Spain for delivery in 2023," the report underlined.

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