Turkey announces record high defense budget for 2023
Turkey's defense budget for the next year will rise to a very high level, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, amid tensions with neighboring Greece.
“As a result of increased threats in the world and in our region, we are increasing our defense budget for 2023 to a very high level,” Erdogan said in an address to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies in Ankara on Wednesday.
Erdogan announced the figure as 469 billion liras ($25.2 billion).
According to defense news site SavunmaSanayist, Turkey’s 2023 defense budget will break the all-time record in Turkish Lira terms.
Armament has recently been a tension escalating issue between Turkey and Greece.
The two NATO allies are trading barbs over the status of the Aegean islands, where Turkey accuses Greece for militarizing them in violation of international treaties.
Erdogan last month said Turkish forces could target Greece any moment if necessary, recalling a Turkish victory against the Greek forces invading the western part of Turkey after the World War I.
"Greece, look at history, go back in time; if you go too far, the price will be heavy,” Erdogan said. "When the time comes, we will do what is necessary. As we say, all of a sudden, we can come overnight," he said.