Turkey will allocate more than $40 billion to its defense budget in 2024, a presentation by a vice president showed, marking a 150 percent increase from this year’s budget, in another move to bolster its defense capabilities, Reuters reported.
In 2023, Turkey allocated around $16 billion for defense and security. On Tuesday, Turkey’s parliament voted to extend the mandate that allows its security forces to conduct cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq for another two years.
In a presentation on Tuesday, Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz also said the government aimed to almost double defense industry exports to $11 billion from the current $6 billion.
Yılmaz added that the Turkish defense industry was seen increasing its self-sufficiency to 85 percent from 2023’s 80 percent.
Turkey places great importance on self-sufficiency and has invested billions of dollars in its defense industry over the past years.
Ankara faces challenges in procurement after the US administration excluded Turkey from the F-35 joint program due to Ankara’s purchase of a Russian S-400 missile system in 2017.
The US has also blocked a $20 billion Lockheed Martin LMT.N F-16 fighter jet deal, over Turkey’s objections to Sweden joining NATO but also over President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s human rights record and overflights of the airspace of neighboring Greece.
In addition, some NATO members, particularly Canada, Germany and France, have imposed unofficial arms embargoes on Turkey following its unilateral military operations in Syria in recent years.