Speaking at the 13th Ambassadors Conference, Demir said, “In this transition period, the relationship between Turkish foreign policy and the defense industry has turned into an ever more important theme in terms of protecting and strengthening the interests of our state. In this respect, as the Presidency, ‘Wisdom and Compassionate Turkish Diplomacy in 2023 and Beyond’. We care about the title.” used his statements.
Demir emphasized that as Turkey, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, they are advancing with the understanding of “Entrepreneurial and Humane Foreign Policy”, which makes the country strong on the field and at the table, at a time when the world is going through various crises.
Stating that the relations they maintain with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have gained institutional depth in many fields and studies, Demir said, “With the Presidency Defense Industry Presidency at its center, universities, SMEs, foundation companies, private companies, our entrepreneurial youth, our technoparks and many other elements. We have created a defense industry ecosystem.” said.
Referring to the point this ecosystem has reached in the last 20 years, Demir stated that while only 60 defense projects were carried out in 2002, this number has exceeded 750 today, and that nearly half of these projects have been initiated in the last 6 years.
Demir stated that while defense projects with a budget of approximately 5.5 billion dollars were carried out in 2002, the project volume has reached over 60 billion dollars with an increase of 11-12 times today. Our second important topic in the great transformation, our priority, is our defense industry policy, which focuses on institutional-sectoral interaction. It is no longer a defense industry that tries to find its way in isolation in space or space and proceeds with daily needs and orders, but creates a perspective and exists in different fields. An approach that attaches importance to all efforts, attaches importance to different corporate experiences and centers cooperation has come to the fore. he said.
Stating that besides working with various institutions, he has many studies and regular activities such as curriculum and human resources policies in education, protection of the necessary technical infrastructure in energy and localization studies, Demir said, “Our work with more than one ministries confirms this situation and is getting stronger day by day. “It strengthens our hand on the field and at the table, expands our sphere of influence. In this respect, it takes on a structure that causes trust to friends and uneasiness to the enemy.” made its assessment.
Expressing that one of the most fundamental priorities of the defense industry is export, Demir said, “We are acting with an approach that takes every step at the level of the main platforms and focuses on the technologies of the future, while solving our main needs in the fields of land, air, sea and space with domestic and national resources and products. Today, we can easily say: ‘Can the Turks do this?’ The question will become increasingly meaningless on a world scale and it is coming. We expect the question ‘when will they do it?’ will be replaced by the question ‘Can they?’ When the issue of embargoes and restrictions comes to the fore, hostile and restrictive attitudes towards us from friendly and allied countries will only harm our long-term friendships. I emphasize that these obstructions will never deter, deter or stop us from our path, we may slow down a little, hassle, work a little harder and spend money, but what they are trying to restrain we will achieve and we succeed.” said.
“Turkey’s place in minds has begun to change”
Demir explained that smart bombs were produced one year after an ambassador told him, ‘They won’t give us JDAM bombs, please take care of this’, and said, “They didn’t give us a camera, our camera was ready. Whatever you can think of, if there is anything they didn’t give today, believe me, we will put it on the field tomorrow or the next day. At this point, our most vital priority is exports. When Turkey is mentioned, the image of a country that has come to a point in technology has started to form. Turkey’s place in minds has started to change in Africa, South East Asia, Central Asia and South America. Panic and security concerns have started to cause them to knock on our door frequently. With the efforts of all of us, we have increased our exports approximately 13 times in the last 20 years. We are pleased to see that our exports increase every year. By the end of 2022, I foresee our export figure to be well above 4 billion dollars.” he said.
Emphasizing that Turkey has a much greater potential in the field of defense industry, Demir said that what comes to mind when Turkey and Turkish products are mentioned should be clearly explained.
Pointing out that the number of countries to which defense industry products are exported exceeds 170, Demir stated that the number of products exported in the defense industry has exceeded 230, especially UAVs, SİHAs, land vehicles and naval platforms.
Stating that he started knocking on Turkey’s door in NATO member countries, Demir said, “If our SİHAs are vilified when they are in Azerbaijan and praised while they are in Ukraine, we see the double standard here very clearly. Turkey is a country with a deep state tradition. “We are not a country that sends irresponsible weapons in a confusing way. We will emphasize this and show it on the field.” said.
Demir stated that ambassadors play an important role in marketing and export activities.
“Our request from the ambassadors is to provide all kinds of support for the strengthening of a general defense industry export concept in the countries they are located in. One of the steps we have taken to increase our defense industry exports and to solve the problems experienced in the countries with which we cooperate in defense procurement will be the implementation of the Defense Industry overseas organization. We believe that the consultants, under the auspices of our ambassadors in the countries they are located, will be beneficial in the coordination of our defense industry cooperation activities from state to state. We know that they will be effective in developing export opportunities, identifying and resolving obstacles and problems in defense trade in a timely manner. I think it will get stronger after establishing it.”