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Austria’s military embargo will have no direct negative impact on Turkish army, experts say

ALI ÜNAL @ali_unal
ANKARA
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Defense Minister Fikri Işık holds a press conference during NATO Defense Ministers' Summit, on Oct. 31, in Brussels, Belgium. (AA Photo)
Defense Minister Fikri Işık holds a press conference during NATO Defense Ministers' Summit, on Oct. 31, in Brussels, Belgium. (AA Photo)

Austria's parliament has adopted a motion imposing an arms export embargo on Turkey. The decision came last week, the same day the European Parliament (EP) voted to approve a non-binding motion urging the European Union to halt accession talks with Ankara.

Commenting on the issue, Turkey's Defense Minister Fikri Işık said Austria's arms embargo on Turkey will lead to more serious motivations in developing national weapons locally.

"The U.S. imposed a much more severe embargo on Turkey in 1975 and it sparked the birth of the Turkish defense industry," Minister Işık said on Friday.

"Turkey would not be affected if Austria's decision is put to practice," he added.

Turkish security forces have been using handguns and assault rifles produced in Austria, Glock and Steyr being the only imported Austrian arms brands. The handguns by Glock were used by some law enforcement officers.

Another defense industry researcher, Turan Oğuz also believed that Turkey can easily find substitutions for Austrian weapons.

"Austrian weapons can easily be replaced by products from another supplier,'' he said.

Professor Dr. Mustafa Kibaroğlu, from MEF University in Istanbul recalled that in Turkey's recent history, several other countries had imposed arms embargoes on the country.

"In 1990's South Africa and Norway imposed an arms embargo and we have also had similar situations with the U.S. and Germany," he said.

"Though all these problems might lead to some short-term weaknesses in our fight against terrorism, but they have never had any negative impact on Turkey's determination to protect its independence and territorial integrity," Kibaroğlu declared.

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