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ASELSAN 120 mm Mortar System, IDEF ’17
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Turkey’s Defence Industry Potential on the Verge of IDEF

When we observe the global business development activities of Turkish defence companies, we see that their focus is mainly on a flight zone (hinterland) covering four hours. This hinterland covers the Central Asian Republics, North Africa, the Gulf Region Countries and Eastern Europe. 

In most of these countries, historical traces of being ruled by the Turkish States or by Turkish people, can be observed. These are the countries where cultural infrastructure was long established; that is to say, people have been familiar to each other for long periods of time. This is a fact that enabled the Turkish Contractors to make medium- or large-scale business with these countries right from their establishment. It is easy to find Turkish goods in these markets or to see big Turkish contracting companies engaged in infrastructure and prestigious management buildings in these countries.
It can be observed that Turkish modern defence industry, which dates back to 1974, has mainly focused its activities in this hinterland. The establishment of SAGEM in 1984 and of Undersecretariat for Defense Industries in 1985, as well as the beginning of off-set obligations for foreign companies in exchange of their entrance to the Turkish market were all important factors enabling the Turkish defence industry to sail abroad. As of 1993, Turkish defence companies entered an internationalization process thanks to IDEF. By 2000 and onwards, the Turkish defence industry has started to envisage exporting products and capabilities and reached to a level of setting a target of 1 Billion USD exports. During 2010s, the target of our defence industry got bigger and strategies were put forward aiming international joint projects.

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