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US sanctions on Turkish defense industries and their impact on the relationship between the two countries

Due to Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia, disputes arose between Ankara and Washington. This disagreement entered a new phase during the past week, with the White House adopting the CAATSA Act, to impose a package of sanctions on Turkey. This law provides for 12 types of penalties, of which at least 5 must be applied against target countries. In this case, the Turkish financial institutions were not targeted. Rather, sanctions were limited to the defense industry sector.

Among these five sanctions announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, after consulting with the Treasury Department, prohibiting the issuance of US export licenses to the Turkish defense industries complex, preventing the transfer of any goods and technologies, as well as preventing the granting of loans from US financial institutions, and preventing any support from The American Import and Export Bank.

These sanctions imposed on Ankara will not affect its defense sales to other countries. It can be considered that the United States chose to impose medium and non-severe sanctions, after it preferred a compromise solution that avoids sacrificing relations with Turkey. Perhaps this is what the US Secretary of State confirmed, saying that the United States does not wish to undermine the military capabilities or combat preparations of the Turkish ally; It only wants to target Russia and limit its influence.

The White House does not have much blame that could be directed at Turkey; Indeed, it is the Turkish side that can direct this blame, given that the United States has always mobilized the world under the slogan of fighting terrorism when it desires to do so.

These sanctions come at an exceptional political circumstance in Washington, where a new president was elected; But he has not taken over his duties yet. As is well known, Trump, who will remain in the White House until January 20 next, was strongly opposed to these sanctions.

Turkey is a very important member of NATO. However, it was forced to violate the American desire and buy the Russian defense system. Because of the security challenges it faces. Turkey had requested support from NATO after the battles in the Syrian war reached its borders and missiles fell on its border cities. But Washington deployed the Patriot missile system, and quickly withdrew it, leaving Ankara alone in the confrontation.

Therefore, it can be said that the White House does not have much blame that can be directed at Turkey; Indeed, it is the Turkish side that can direct this blame, given that the United States has always mobilized the world under the slogan of fighting terrorism when it desires to do so. However, it is now the largest supporter and financier of terrorism in the world. Perhaps this is something that no one can say. Because of the constant threat of sanctions that frighten everyone, Turkey says this everywhere, and will say it in the face of Washington.

Meanwhile, the ban that will be imposed on supplying Turkey with some products necessary for defense industries will not harm this industry; But it will push it to develop further. Past experiences have shown that restrictions and sanctions have stimulated innovation, and Turkey’s access to technology of its own.

The size of the Turkish defense industry has doubled to reach 11 billion dollars in 2019. The percentage of local production from defense purchases reached 70%, and it reached 100% in the field of drones, after it was relying in this field heavily on Israel until the year 2009 2010.

Turkey was dissatisfied at the time with this dealings with Israel, since it was not getting what it wanted, and the Israeli combat drones were of poor quality, easily damaged and expensive to maintain. The images that were taken by these aircraft were in vain, and there were suspicions that Israel was sending the pictures and information to the PKK, which is classified as a terrorist organization from Turkey, given that the operations in which these images were used were not achieving success against this terrorist organization.

However, after the Davos conference, when Erdogan attacked Shimon Peres severely, Israel imposed sanctions on Turkey that included stopping the sale of unmanned combat aircraft, which prompted Ankara to develop its own technology in this sector. To become in a few years one of the leading countries in this field. And now, thanks to its manufacture of drones, Turkey has managed to achieve great victories over terrorism, not only on its territory; But also in Libya, Syria and Azerbaijan; To earn these aircraft a heroic reputation.

This is one example that applies to many other sectors, where Turkey is making rapid progress, and the restrictions and sanctions imposed on it are pushing towards self-sufficiency. This can be expressed by God Almighty saying: (Perhaps you hate something and it is better for you).




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