“Seven of our citizens have died.” Erdogan ends his speech with the news of a tragic accident

“Seven of our citizens have died.” Erdogan ends his speech with the news of a tragic accident
“Seven of our citizens have died.” Erdogan ends his speech with the news of a tragic accident

“Seven of our citizens have died.” Erdogan ends his speech with the news of a tragic accident

While selling drones to Ukraine, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan maintains an open line of communication with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, which has helped him ensure the continuation of the Moscow-Kyiv grain deal he signed with him while he was there attempts to expand Ankara’s role as a regional hub and strategic decision-maker.

In recent months, Turkey’s best-known arms manufacturer, Baykar, has launched a new factory in Kyiv that will double its capacity to manufacture armed drones.

Last month, Turkey handed over new corvettes to the Ukrainian Navy at a ceremony attended by Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and First Lady Olena Zelensky.

The Milgem class is now the largest in the Ukrainian fleet, playing a key role in challenging Russian dominance in the Black Sea and demonstrating Turkey’s growing influence.

Turkey has also provided the Ukrainian armed forces with flak jackets worn by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself, along with body armor and military vehicles.

When Putin threatened to reinstate a ban on Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, Erdogan intervened to keep supplies flowing and stem soaring global food prices.

Newspaper “The Wall Street JournalShe said Erdogan’s stance on Putin and his constant contact with him made it easier for him to play his current role amid the rapid changes the world is experiencing, especially after February 24, the date of Russia’s declaration of war on Ukraine.

The Turkish president is now one of the few world leaders who speaks regularly with Putin, promising to step up trade with Russia despite post-war sanctions and provide an important safety valve.

“He has had exemplary success in representing Turkey’s own interests within the framework of the balance he is seeking between Russia and Ukraine,” said Alper Coskun, former head of international security at Turkey’s foreign ministry.

Ukraine doesn’t seem to bother Erdogan’s relationship with Putin much “as long as Turkey’s arms supplies continue to flow,” according to the Wall Street Journal report.

The newspaper referred to an earlier statement by Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrilov, who said in a newspaper interview: “We understand the situation in Turkey, they play the role of mediator between us and Russia.”

military industry

The war in Ukraine provided Turkey with an opportunity to boost its growing defense industry while advancing its foreign policy goals after fighting a series of proxy wars with Russia in Syria, Libya and the South Caucasus region.

Rallies in Bayraktar made the difference in the Russian war against Ukraine in Kyiv’s favour

Erdogan has made no secret of his global aspirations, selling Turkish-made drones to 24 countries around the world, building diplomatic clout in Central Asia through a council of Turkish states, and deepening ties with a host of Middle Eastern powers this year, according to Diplomatic realignment.

The focus of new Turkish military supplies to Ukraine is the delivery of dozens of Bayraktar TB2 drones, which helped Kiev’s initial resistance to the Russian invasion, bombing invading military convoys and sinking Russian warships.

Bayraktar’s planes have proven effective in evading Russian air defenses.

Baykar CEO Khaluk Bayraktar said the new $100 million, 30,000-square-foot facility in Ukraine is expected to build the company’s entire line of drones in about three years.

The man expects the plant to double the company’s current production capacity, which currently stands at around 200 aircraft a year.

News of the plant’s construction did not please Russian officials, who threatened to attack the new facility.

Khaluk, the company’s CEO, denied these threats in a press interview in Istanbul, where he said, “This is a project between Ukraine and Turkey, not someone else’s business,” citing Moscow.

Khaluk Bayraktar and his brother, the company’s chief technology officer, Selcuk Bayraktar, who is married to one of Erdogan’s daughters, have gained notoriety in Turkey due to the drone’s success in the war in Ukraine and other conflicts.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awards the National Order of Merit to Khaluk Bayraktar
Chairman of the maker of famous Turkish parades

This success has helped spark new demands from various countries around the world, including Ankara’s NATO allies, Romania and Poland.

At a defense industry exhibition in Istanbul last month, a large crowd of fans flocked to Khaluk Bayraktar, some demanding autographs and commemorative photos, until some guards intervened to make the “fans” go far away from where he was planning was holding meetings with dignitaries.

Bayraktar himself has openly pro-Ukraine, vowing never to sell drones to Russia, and appears to be taking a stand regardless of Turkish government policies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

for caution

The head of Turkey’s Defense Industry Agency told the same newspaper earlier this year that Ankara should be cautious about selling new weapons to Ukraine as part of a broader peace-broking approach.

Asked about Turkey’s attempts to balance ties with Ukraine and Russia, Bayraktar said, “I’m not a government representative, I’m the director of Baykar.”

At times, the Ukrainian government has been annoyed by Turkey’s attempts to position itself as a mediator. Ukrainian officials publicly accused Turkey of buying stolen Ukrainian wheat from Russia earlier this year.

Turkey said it was investigating the allegations, while Ukraine’s defense minister said last month Turkish institutions had rejected a new Ukrainian request for 200,000 sets of body armor to supplement hundreds of thousands of body armor supplied by a Turkish company this year.

Turkish officials did not respond to a request for comment on the matter, The Wall Street Journal says.

In return, Erdogan is expanding military ties with Russia and with Putin himself, which has often drawn the ire of Western countries, particularly the United States, when Washington imposed sanctions on Turkey when the Turkish president agreed to Russian S-400 planes in 2017 .

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