25 Şubat 2012 Cumartesi

Islamic trade tops Turkish defense

Umit ENGINSOY    Hürriyet Daily News

Eight out ten countries importing defense exports from Turkey are Muslim nations, according to a recent list released by the Union of Turkish Defense Exporters. Total defense sales reached $1 billion in 2011, professionals say

The Union of Turkish Defense Exporters earlier this week released a list of Turkish defense exports to a number of countries, with Saudi Arabia topping the list.

The list said Turkey’s 2011 defense exports stood at $400 million. However, the exact figure was over $1 billion since sale of offset parts was ignored, according to a professional.

The union’s list rightly observed the rise of Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries in defense buys from Turkey. In fact, eight of the 10 countries were Islamic nations. “This was not our intention, but is right. We sell most to Islamic countries,” one senior procurement official said.

SaSaD, the Defense Industry Manufacturers Association, makes a more balanced estimate and takes into account the defense exports of all Turkish companies, including their sales in the fourth quarter of the year. It also takes into account companies, including the likes of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), which make major contributions to the sales through offsets.