Duvar English - Anadolu Agency
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that the country will export unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Poland, in what will be "the first time in its history" making such a sale to a NATO and EU member country.
"With the steps we've taken in the last 19 years [in the defense industry], we've not only negated years of negligence, but also carried our country to the league of giants in this field," Erdoğan said on May 24 in a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, who was on an official visit to the Turkish capital Ankara.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak had announced on May 22 that his country would purchase 24 Bayraktar TB2 drones from Turkey.
Erdoğan said that Turkey and Poland were "walking firmly" towards achieving their $10 billion target in bilateral trade volume.
He also said that Turkey will "soon" deploy its F-16 jets to Poland as part of NATO's Baltic Air- policing mission.
For his part, Duda said Turkey was the "strongest ally" of Poland in "this part of the world."
"I believe that as part of the NATO framework, we can prevent threats to the two countries from inside and outside the country," he said.
Prior to the joint news conference, the two leaders signed agreements in the fields of defense, agriculture, tourism, and sports.
Turkish defense technology company Baykar has sold its Bayraktar TB2 armed drone to Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Qatar and Libya. Erdoğan said in March that Saudi Arabia was also interested in buying Turkish drones.
Canada scrapped export permits for drone technology to Turkey in April, after concluding that the equipment was used by Azeri forces fighting Armenia in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. The parts under embargo included camera systems for Baykar armed drones.