Erdoğan says Turkey to buy arms locally, citing blackmail

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey had decided to purchase weapons and other armaments from local manufacturers whenever possible, after the country saw that its procurements had been used for purposes of what he called blackmail by suppliers.

Erdoğan said the government had convened a meeting of the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, the first he has chaired since extending his presidential powers, and took the decision, which affects purchases of $9.4 billion worth of products.

“We will not buy any product, software or system from abroad that can be produced in our own country, except in situations of emergency,” Erdoğan said in a speech on Tuesday, according to Gercek Gundem. “If necessary it will take longer, if necessary we will spend more money.”

Countries including Germany have suspended the supply of arms to Turkey citing its record on human rights. 

Turkey’s defence industry can now compete with the best in the world, helped by thousands of private companies, which are working night and day to increase their capabilities, Erdoğan said.