Unpacking the Debate on Turkish Drones

In this report in the first section, the emerging unmanned military platforms and smart systems produced by Turkey and their impact on military norms and practices in several conflict areas will be discussed. In the second section, the questions of how these technologies are shaping Turkey’s ties with buyer countries, trends, and competition in the drone market will be answered

The emerging unmanned military platforms, smart systems and munitions manufactured by Turkey have become popular in the international defence market. It was Turkish-made drones with their modern features that proved the advanced air defence systems archaic in Libya, Idlib, Nagorno-Karabakh, and lately in Ukraine. Arising from the Turkish-made drones’ overwhelming combat performance, the demand for those platforms has multiplied rapidly, resulting in a manifold effect on Turkey’s defence exports.

Besides projecting Turkey’s military power by increasing its deterrence and bargaining power, they have served as a soft power tool for cementing diplomatic relations, as well. But more importantly, they have turned out to be a strategic means for building a military cooperation model between Turkey and its recipients. Furthermore, considering the possibility of exporting advanced and futuristic platforms to developed countries, Turkey may seize the opportunity to become one of the major suppliers in the long term.

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