Turkey currently meets 68 percent of its domestic demand for military products and plans to further boost the level of import substitution in the defense industry, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on 13 January during the foundation stone-laying ceremony for a new plant producing military vehicles in the Turkish province of Sakarya.
The new plant being built by BMC Otomotiv, one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in Turkey, will produce wheeled armored vehicles, including unmanned vehicles and tracked armored personnel carriers, as well as laser weapons. "In 2002, when the ruling Justice and Development Party came to power in Turkey, the defense industry provided the country with 20 percent of its needs, while today this figure has reached 68 percent. But that's not enough. The level of import substitution in the defense sector will increase," Erdogan said, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.
Erdogan commended the Qatari authorities' support for the project and also stressed that Turkey's cooperation with Qatar would continue to deepen in a number of industries, including trade, defense, tourism and energy.