US asked Poland to buy armed drones from Turkey, AKP deputy claims

A deputy of the ruling AKP said in a recent parliamentary speech that it was United States officials who prompted Poland's purchase of armed drones from Turkey. Poland said in late May that they would acquire 24 Turkish-made drones from the company run by the president's son-in-law Selçuk Bayraktar.

Duvar English

A deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said in a speech in parliament that it was in fact the United States who prompted Poland's purchase of armed drones from Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 24 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 in a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, who was on an official visit to the Turkish capital Ankara.

Almost two weeks following the sale, AKP deputy Vedat Demiröz boasted about the purchase in a general assembly in parliament, Duvar reported on June 6, where he said that deputies should be proud of the sale. 

"We are making a UAV sale to a European country, and they're the ones who made the request. In fact, I heard from a source that it was U.S. officials who told Poland to buy drones from Turkey," Demiröz said. 

Turkish drone producer Baykar is run by Erdoğan's son-in-law Selçuk Bayraktar, who's been central to Turkey's emergence as a producer of armed drones. 

Most recently, Bayraktar made a controversial comment by saying that the United States' exclusion of Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program was in fact a good thing for Ankara, as it will accelerate the development of domestic local aviation technologies.