Turkey has consolidated its position as a military power able to produce and sell weapons, an analysis published by a French newspaper said Wednesday.
The analysis, titled "How drones are changing warfare" in the French daily newspaper La Croix, said the recent conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and Ethiopia have made the use of armed drones widespread.
Noting that Turkish TB2 and Israeli Harop drones helped Azerbaijan win the conflict in a short time with much less loss of life in Nagorno-Karabakh, it said Turkey successfully benefited from armed drones in Syria in March 2020 and Libya's internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) gained superiority over forces loyal to putschist warlord Gen. Khalifa Haftar thanks to Turkish drones.
It also pointed out that affordable and high-quality drones produced by Turkish company Baykar are especially inviting for African countries, adding Ukraine also purchased 20 Turkish drones.
Leading armed unmanned drone manufacturers including Turkey, the United States, China, Israel and Russia are working on a combination of artificial intelligence and robot technology, it added.
The analysis' section devoted to Turkish drones, dubbed "The drone, a tool of influence for Turkey," also said that successful performances in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh increased Turkish drone sales.
Claiming that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan utilizes the country's know-how in this area as a "diplomatic weapon," the article said that Turkey's allocation of resources to defense reached 7.5% of the country's total expenditure in 2020 compared to 5.4% in 2015, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
"Although the country continues to import certain parts, Turkey is asserting itself more and more as a military power able to produce and market weapons but also to ensure the training of units," it said.
It underlined that the performance and technological superiority of the Bayraktar TB2 allows it to change the balance in power relations, and highlighted that dozens of Turkish drones were exported to Ukraine, Poland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Qatar.
It also asserted that Turkish drones were the focal point of the 3rd Turkey-Africa summit held in Istanbul on Dec. 17-18.
The analysis also gave space to comments by defense policy expert Arda Mevlütoğlu, who said, "What is important to emphasize is that Turkey is able to offer products to NATO standards without imposing heavy diplomatic restrictions as Western countries do."
In recent years, Ankara repeatedly traded barbs with Paris over policies in Syria, Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean and Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in France.
The spat rose to new levels as France moved to crack down on some Muslim groups.
Tensions also escalated between Ankara and Paris after French officials met with leaders of the PKK terror group’s Syrian branch YPG in 2018.
The two countries are also on opposing sides in Libya, where Ankara backed the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli against a 2019 offensive by putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar. France is suspected of supporting Haftar, but officially insists it is neutral in the conflict.