Turkey delivers 50 Kirpi armored vehicles to Ukraine
While a first batch of Kirpi armored vehicles were delivered to Ukraine, the delivery was done in the context of a government agreement rather than a deal between Ukraine and the manufacturer BMC, according to a Turkish government official.
A government source who wished to remain anonymous told Defense News that, under the agreement, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense delivered the initial batch and that there will be deliveries in the future as well.
An official from the BMC confirmed the deliveries and said that the deal did not involve the company and that Turkey delivered the vehicles they already had in the Turkish military inventory.
The Kirpi, meaning “hedgehog” in Turkish, is an armored infantry carrier. The first design, Kirpi 1, was available as a prototype in 2009. More than 1,500 vehicles were sold, 200 of them abroad.
In 2018, Kirpi 2 was introduced and the Turkish government purchased 529 so far.
In 2014, BMC was bought by businessman Ethem Sancak, known for his close ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Sancak even said in May 2015: "I fell in love with Erdogan when I witnessed his honesty and bravery. I realized after knowing him that such a heavenly love is possible between two men."
Sancak sold 49% of the company's shares to the Qatari military, and 25% to businessman Talip Ozturk a short time after he bought the company..
His shares and the shares of Ozturk were sold to Tosyali Holding in June 2021.
Soon after the transfer of his BMC shares to Tosyali, Sancak resigned from his membership of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and joined national socialist Patriotic Party (Vatan Partisi).