President Erdoğan: It is an obligation for us to be strong in military, economic and diplomatic terms
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech at a ceremony in Istanbul held for the launching of the Frigate Istanbul (F-515), the fifth ship of MILGEM Project, and for the first welding of Pakistan MILGEM Corvette Project’s third ship.
“NATIONS NOT STRONG IN DEFENSE INDUSTRY CANNOT LOOK TO THE FUTURE WITH CONFIDENCE”
Drawing attention to the great potential for cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan in defense industry, President Erdoğan noted that the two countries, both of which are engaged in a combat against multiple threats including terrorist organizations, can provide significant contributions to one another in their fight to eliminate these threats.
The President underlined that the incidents that have recently taken place have shown that nations which are not sufficient technologically and not strong and independent in defense industry cannot look to the future with confidence.
Further stressing that Turkey needs to have the highest level of deterrence in order to ensure its own national security as well as to defend both its own rights and the rights of its friends, President Erdoğan said that Turkey in its recent history suffered a lot from foreign dependency in weapons, ammunition and military equipment.
“WE HAVE FACED PRESSURE IN EVERY STEP WE HAVE TAKEN TO PROTECT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY”
Recalling the embargoes imposed against Turkey because of the Cyprus Peace Operation, President Erdoğan stated: “Let alone getting delivery of the planes we had paid for in advance, we couldn’t get back even the planes which we had sent for periodical maintenance during that period. We even had to pay the fees of the hangars where the planes not delivered to us were kept parked for years. We have faced pressure in every steps we have taken to protect our national security, including our legitimate operations against terror in Syria and Iraq and our fight to defend our interests in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean.”
The President continued: “It is an obligation, rather than a choice, for us to be strong in military, economic and diplomatic terms. In this spirit, we have mobilized starting from 2002 all our means so as to maximize the share of domestic production in defense industry.”
“WE HAVE BECOME A COUNTRY THAT MEETS THE NEEDS OF FRIENDLY AND ALLIED COUNTRIES”
Underscoring that the number of the companies that operate in the field of defense industry in Turkey has increased to some 1,500 from 56, President Erdoğan said: “Our exports, which stood at 248 million dollars, have exceeded 3 billion dollars. In the military shipbuilding industry, we have exported 130 marine platforms, the total cost of which approximates 3 billion dollars, to nine countries in three continents. While two companies of ours were listed in the world’s top 100 defense companies list just four years ago, thanks be to Allah, we are now represented with seven firms in the same list. Regarding land and marine vehicles, we have become a country that meets the needs of friendly and allied countries as well as our own needs. We are among the 10 countries that can design, build and maintain their own war ships. We are now one of the top three or four countries in the world in the production of UAVs, UCAVs and attack UAVs.”
Further stressing that the successes achieved by the Turkish UCAVs during the recent 44-day long Karabakh victory changed warfare methods as well, President Erdoğan said the Turkish UCAVs have also changed the course of the war in Libya, and that Turkey is now able to overcome by its own strength the difficulties caused and the embargoes imposed, overtly or covertly, by global suppliers.
Following his speech, President Erdoğan performed the first welding of Pakistan MILGEM Corvette Project’s third ship and expressed his wish that the ship will lead to auspicious outcomes for the friendly and brotherly Pakistan.