Finland’s arms embargo taking toll on Turkish defence companies - Dünya

The suspension of arms sales to Turkey by a number of European governments in condemnation of the country’s October military offensive into Syria is taking a toll on Turkish defence companies, Dünya newspaper reported on Monday.

Dünya pointed to Finland in particular, whose arms embargo against the Turkish government after its troops entered Syria to attack the Kurdish forces, has directly affected Oyak, a pension fund owned by the Turkish military.

Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne decreed in October that the government would not approve any new arms export permits to Turkey.

Finland does not sell weapons or munitions to Turkey. All of its exports are comprised of armours and protective materials or equipment.

Almost all of the $ 17 million worth of defence equipment sold by Finland to Turkey are produced by Finnish company Miilux, which Turkey’s OYAK pension fund purchased a majority stake of 70 percent in October, Dünya said. 

The goal with the purchase was to place a Turkish company at the helm of steel armour production, in which Turkey is entirely reliant on imports and officials were eyeing a facility with a13,000-tonne production capacity in the country’s western province of Manisa, it said.

Miilux has an expansive customer portfolio in Turkey, including BMC, Otokar, Nurol, Katmerciler and Roketsan.

BMC CEO Ethem Sancak, during a recent television interview, confirmed that the embargo by Finland has rendered the production of armoured vehicles virtually impossible for them, Dünya said. 

Findland’s current government policy maintains that the country should not export arms to countries engaged in conflict, which effectively means it will not grant new export licenses to Turkey. The country’s defence ministry is also reviewing previously granted licenses in a possible move to revoke them.

Following the embargo, Finland has changed government, with a female-led governing coalition stepping into office in December, Dünya said.

However the embargo placed on Oyak and thus Turkey, has prevented the country from taking a strong step to remedy the situation, it added.