According to defense economists, Turkey’s deviation – downward – from the global rise curve for defense and armament spending during the year 2020 compared to 2019 indicates the deterioration of Erdogan’s policies and his failure to manage one of the most dangerous strategic sectors of the Turkish state’s economy. The general curve of Turkish defense spending also indicates tragic declines. Prospectively wrapped in black clouds of economic deterioration, tourism stalemate, and the repercussions of the Corona pandemic on global trade and travel.
According to data issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the value of defense spending in Turkey during the year 2019 amounted to about 20.4 billion US dollars, an increase of 5.8% compared to the volume of Turkish military spending in 2018, which is the lowest increase in defense spending in Turkey’s history.
What happened in 2020 comes in contrast to what happened between the year 2010 and 2019, when Turkey’s defense spending increased by 84 percent compared to the previous decade (2000-2010), as Turkish military and defense spending reached 20.4 billion dollars by the end of 2019 in a manner. It was pointed out, and the period between 2017 and 2018 witnessed the slowest growth rate of defense spending in Turkey, as the growth rate of its defense spending did not exceed 27 percent. This was a preliminary indication of the potential collapses awaiting this strategic sector that became a reality in the year 2020. It is expected to worsen in 2021 and beyond.
The period between 2018 and 2019 witnessed a decline in the growth rate of defense spending in Turkey to a lower rate of 5.8 percent, according to data released by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute in the Middle East, which estimated the volume of global defense spending during the year 2019 at about $ 1.9 trillion. It is the highest global spending rate recorded during the past ten years, which confirms once again Turkey’s deviation from the curve of escalation in global defense spending.
Armament economics experts say that the Turkish government and the Turkish arms production companies have had to pay the prices of their purchases and production inputs in the year 2020 and since 2019, more than 30 percent higher than what they paid last year due to the deterioration of the Turkish currency, which affects the development plans Defensive production expansion.
The Turkish treasury is also currently unable to provide the smart ammunition that the Turks used to use in their battles against the Kurds and the attacks on the Kurdish strongholds in Syria, northern Iraq and southern Turkey.
When Turkish forces entered northern Syria, allegedly pursuing Kurdish militias in October of 2019, many countries in the world imposed a sanctions regime and an embargo on arms dealings with Turkey, either as an import or an import, and at the forefront of those countries came France, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Czech Republic And the Netherlands, Spain and Germany, and that was an urgent initiative in response to the Turkish incursion, and on the fourteenth of October 2019, the European Union countries agreed to limit their arms exports to Turkey despite Turkey’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty, which Turkey strongly condemned and strengthened its cancellation The United States will have Turkey from the list of countries participating in the F-35 production program, as of 2020, despite the fragility of the Turkish contribution to building that fighter.
The producers of defense systems in Turkey from the public and private sectors and their exporters are the biggest losers as a result of these reckless and hostile Erdogan policies towards the Middle East and the world. The Union of Turkish Exporters was established by the Turkish government in 1993 as an umbrella group that includes 95 thousand Turkish exporters representing twenty-seven Main economic and production sectors, and 61 supplementary sectors. The Federation is responsible for setting strategies to promote industry and export manufactured in Turkey, and takes care of aspects and activities of research and development. And coordination of cooperation between producers, exporters and Turkish state agencies, especially the producers and exporters of defense products, which closed Erdogan’s reckless policies the doors of the world markets to their products.
The discrepancy between the figures achieved during the first eight months of the year 2020 / $ 1.2 billion / and what the Turkish government was aspiring to ($ 10.2 billion) by the year 2023 reveals the depth of the abyss in which the defense and strategic industries of Turkey fell resoundingly due to Erdogan’s policies. The recklessness that exacerbated the Corona crisis from its repercussions, as the strategic plan for the advancement of Turkish defense industries and exports aimed at achieving self-sufficiency for the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces of weapons by 75 percent by the year 2023, and focusing on space defense industries that achieve a high financial return, leading to $ 26.9 billion by 2023, up from $ 6.7 billion in 2018.
It is noteworthy that the curve of declining defense spending in Turkey coincided with the trend of declining economic performance of Turkey since 2018.According to the official data issued by the Turkish government, unemployment reached its peak in January, recording 14.7 percent, and to the unemployed queues, an average of 366,000 Turks joined Every month since the beginning of last year, until the number of those who lost their jobs in Turkey by the end of the first quarter of this year reached 4.7 million Turks, of whom young people represented 26.7 percent, which is the highest rate of unemployment and economic deterioration for Turkey since 1988.
With the rise in inflation in Turkey to unprecedented levels of 20 percent and the rise in interest rates to between 15 and 16 percent below the level of inflation, the recession that Turkey’s economy is currently witnessing has prompted its government to adopt extremely severe austerity policies while reducing all aspects of spending and imports. . Including defensive import.
According to observers, all these difficult economic and financial considerations that Turkey is going through had a negative impact on the vision of its defense planners about the planned arms purchase deals and the ability of the Turkish economy to bear its bills, and far from the propaganda news about Turkey’s defense manufacturing capabilities and its maneuvers, the Turkish defense production institutions stand On the verge of bankruptcy and complete paralysis due to its inability to provide financial resources to cover its import bills for production inputs from abroad.
According to official data, Turkish GDP decreased in the last quarter of 2018 by 3%, and this declining trend is still prevalent until now in light of the growing borrowing rates of the Turkish government at high interest rates amounting to 17% for Turkish public treasury bills for ten years, These political, financial and lending considerations in their entirety constitute a long-term burden on the Turkish economy, which makes it difficult for this to maintain its credibility in international strategic and defense forums.