ISTANBUL 

As Turkey strengthens its armed forces, its geographical position means it must boast a strong defense, said its defense minister on Friday.

The Turkish Armed Forces’ achievements “have been accomplished with the contribution of domestic and national defense industry weapons systems that constantly improve themselves with innovative approaches,” Hulusi Akar said in a video message to Turkey Innovation Week held virtually by the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM).

Noting the importance of technology in the defense industry, Akar said: “Considering the risks and threats worldwide and especially in the region where Turkey is located, the defense needs of the Turkish Armed Forces are changing very rapidly in proportion to the incredible speed of technology and the changing threat types.”

He added: “In this context, the existence of strong armed forces is inevitable for the protection of our national interests.”

On Turkey’s efforts in Libya, Akar said: “In Libya, in accordance with the invitation of the legitimate government and the resolutions of the UN Security Council, we are providing our Libyan brothers with international military training, mine and hand-made explosive sweeping, health and humanitarian aid, as well as consultancy support.”

In November 2019, Turkey and Libya signed pacts on security cooperation and maritime boundaries. Turkey has aided Libya’s UN-recognized government against the attacks of warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Akara added that the rate of local production in Turkey’s defense products has risen to 70%.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara

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