Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about the production and trade of arms around the world.
Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that his country would no longer buy defense systems, software or products from other countries, except in cases of emergency, in the interest of building up Turkey’s own defense industry. A NATO member, Turkey has bought arms from allies like the United States for years. In an email interview, Iyad Dakka, a fellow with the Centre for Modern Turkish Studies at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Canada, explains what is behind Turkey’s ambitions and what they mean for its Western partners.
WPR: What is driving Turkey’s interest in developing a stronger domestic arms production industry?