Turkey is going to completely abandon the import of defense industry products in 2023, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the opening ceremony on Tuesday of IDEF 2015, the 12th International Defense Industry Fair, in Istanbul.
"When we (the country's ruling Justice and Development Party) started our political activities in 2002, Turkey's dependence on the imports of military equipment was at 80 percent. Now we are producing 54 percent. But our goal is to get rid of the dependence on import products in the defense industry. We spend $1 billion on R&D annually", Erdogan said.
Erdogan stated that Turkey’s next target in defense industry, which has advanced from importing to joint production and partial designing, is to develop original designs.
The President added that last year the production capacity of the Turkish defense industry exceeded five billion dollars. The IDEF fair is held once in every odd year by the Turkish Ministry of National Defense and the Tüyap Fairs and Exhibitions Organization Inc.
This year’s event brought together 404 companies from 32 countries and 135 delegations from 46 nations.
Russia is showcasing over 200 types of weapons and other military gear.