Turkey’s Erdoğan takes over defence procurement

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is to hold his first meeting as chairman of the Defence Industry Executive Committee on Wednesday, pro-government newspaper Takvim said.

The committee was part of the Defence Ministry until December 2017, when an executive state of emergency order placed it under direct presidential control.

At the meeting, the newspaper said, the tender for Turkey’s Altay tank would be discussed and a decision would be taken on a project for 500 special-purpose tactical wheeled armoured vehicles.

Erdoğan will be joined at the meeting by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli.

Turkey has invested heavily in its local arms manufacturers over recent years, with Erdoğan emphasising the importance of local production in a speech to his parliamentary party on Tuesday:

“Do (my critics) not see the locally produced weapons in our soldiers’ hands?” he said.

“Do they not even feel excitement at our drones produced entirely by us?”