Turkey: Main opposition leader hints production of drones will continue if they come to power

Turkey: Main opposition leader hints production of drones will continue if they come to power
Update: 01 September 2022 23:27
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CHP chair Kemal Kilicdaroglu said every political party should support Turkey’s defense industry after drone producer expressed concerns about a change in Turkey’s ruling power

Turkey’s main opposition CHP (Republican People’s Party) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said on Wednesday that the production and exports of armed drones in Turkey was not a political matter, and should be supported by all political parties whether they are in power or opposition. 

The subject was put into question when Selcuk Bayraktar, the chief technology officer of drone producer Bayraktar company exposed for the first time his worries about the continuation of the drone programme should a change occur in next year’s presidential elections. 

"If the current ruling power loosens policies regarding these projects, serious risk of failure emerges as well as a loss of leadership in the world. The slightest softening, change, or actions with different agendas are enough to destroy these projects,” he said in an interview with Haberturk TV.

Right after this interview, Kilicdaroglu visited an event organized by Bayraktar as a clear show of support. 

“Turkey has been improving technology investments, especially in the defense industry. We all need to support them, it's that simple. In other words, it is wrong to think as “A party” or “B party”. After all, it's our people [who build this],” he said, answering questions about the comment made by a Kurdish deputy from his party. 

“I would ask you to reflect quietly on the war, the production of combat vehicles, death and killing,” said Sezgin Tanrikulu, vice chair of the CHP last month on Twitter.

Turkey has intensified attacks against Kurdish militants in Northern Syria in August, as Turkish drone strikes have killed 27 people, including 7 children.

Last month, an analysis in ProPublica said Turkey was changing the face of modern warfare with its armed drones. 

Bayraktar’s TB2 drone playing a pivotal role in Ukraine’s war against Russia, but as the weapon spreads across the globe, some U.S. lawmakers seek to crack down on Turkey, the analysis said.