One must always be prepared for war if one wants peace, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at the International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) on Aug. 17, adding that Turkey could only aim to bring peace to any place where its flag flies.
"'If you want peace, you must always be prepared for war,'" Erdoğan said. "This is the best expression of our defense strategy. If Turkish flags fly someplace, the only goal there could be to establish peace, serenity, consistency, safety and comfort."
Turkey is a nation with no massacres or conquests in its past, the president claimed, saying that the government "wishes with all its heart to win anyplace" it is present.
"We have never been, nor will we ever be, one of those states that rains bombs miles away from its borders under the guise of fighting terrorism," the president said right after noting that Turkish military forces are present in Middle Asia, North Africa and Southern Asia.
Turkey has basically experienced a "revolution" in defense technology industries under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the president said, noting that the country is only 20 percent dependent on imports in the sector.
Defense exports have risen from $250 million to more than $3 billion, Erdoğan said, adding that he believes regional peace can only emerge from equal distribution of defense resources.