Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy moves almost always have a domestic angle, and his pivot back to the West since his reelection in May, as well as his return to orthodox economic policies, could all be aimed at one goal: winning favor with urban voters ahead of the 2024 municipal elections.
Turkish arms exports surged past $4 billion in 2022, up nearly 36 percent from 2021, with exports accounting for 98 percent of the arms contractor Bayraktar’s sales. Clearly, Turkey has arrived as a major arms exporter, but what are the implications of these exports in terms of its choice of partners?
War is hell, but for large and politically influential defense contractors, it is also good business. This is fueling claims among some NATO allies that the U.S. is profiting from the war in Ukraine. There is no denying that U.S. defense contractors are benefiting, but accusations of war profiteering are simply off base.