SOURCE: ABHOY ROY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Turkey’s Exporters Assembly (TIM) reported that with purchase of USD106.8 million of Defence equipment and 125% growth in Defense export sales to India when compared to previous year, India is now Turkey’s Third biggest purchaser.
Turkish Defense exports to India is largely supply of equipment to Indian Private sector companies as there is no known direct defence deal between the two countries for sale of any equipment. In 2013, then Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on a visit to Turkey helped revive 20-year-old draft defence cooperation agreement between Turkey and India, since then Ankara’s outlook towards cooperation between two defence forces through military-to-military contacts and training exchanges have improved.
Ankara and New Delhi for long had suspicious and non-cooperative attitudes with each other due to Turkey’s long-standing close ties with Pakistan. Turkey for long also supported Pakistan on Kashmir but off lately has lowered down it’s Kashmir Centric past rhetoric while it continues to support Pakistan on Kashmir at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
According to Indian media reports of 2017, Turkish Aerospace Industries developed medium-altitude, long-endurance Anka Armed drones were offered to India when Turkish President Erdogan visited India last year. Head of defence industry of Turkey Mr Cevik while speaking to Indian media also said that he wants to expand defence cooperation with India even further and was keen on procuring armoured personnel carriers and ammunition needed by Turkish Military from India.
India-Turkey relations seems to be headed for more deeper cooperation’s with a change in Ankara’s outlook towards New Delhi. India is still being counted among largest defence buyer in the world and Turkey off late has been keen on focusing and expanding its defence exports and also procure weapons from different sources. Turkey being part of NATO has already irked other NATO members and US Government after it recently procured S-400 Air Defence System from Russia.