Turkey Has Invested $35 Mn in Defense Industry in 15 Years, Says PM

Turkey Has Invested $35 Mn in Defense Industry in 15 Years, Says PM

Sunday, 4 March, 2018 - 13:00
Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim. (Reuters)
Ankara - Saeed Abdul Razek
Turkey has invested more than $35 billion in the defense industry over the past 15 years, Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim said, adding that Turkey has become an exporter of defense industries.

These exports have exceeded two billion dollars.

“Our state continues to provide all sorts of technological opportunities for the Turkish Armed Forces, and we will continue to do so,” he said in an address at the National Defense University.

The government aims to strengthen national defense through locally made hi-tech defense systems, which is why it supports research and development projects, the prime minister stressed.

“Around 65 percent of Turkey’s national defense equipment needs were procured through its own resources, up from 24 percent when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) first came to power in 2002,” Yildirim added.

“We have begun to build a great deal of our own defense equipment, including helicopters, planes, warships, tanks, air defense systems, satellites and unmanned aerial weapons. In this way, we can equip our land, air and naval forces with our own tanks, planes and weapon systems,” he explained.

On the other hand, Yildirim announced a new support program for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and assessed the value-added taxes (VATs) to be paid back to the enterprises in accordance with the new draft law.

Speaking at the fifth SME and Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony held at the helm of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB), Yildirim said that a total of 9,631 new companies were established across Turkey in January 2018, 61 percent more compared to the previous month.

He said that his country has a strong private sector and therefore it cannot be easily affected by regional and global crises.

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