ISTANBUL

Turkey’s defense industry is proceeding on its way regardless of embargo decisions, the head of the country’s Defense Industries Presidency said.

“Our CATS [Common Aperture Targeting System] cameras, which will be equipped on our armed unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs], are going into mass production, thanks to those who contributed,” Ismail Demir tweeted.

Aselsan — the Turkish defense giant — will continue to work on upgrading the camera, he added.

On Monday, Canada announced it suspended exporting some defense products to Turkey over an allegation that the “Canadian technology is used in the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said: “In line with Canada’s robust export control regime and due to the ongoing hostilities, I have suspended the relevant export permits to Turkey, so as to allow time to further assess the situation.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Canada showed double standards by suspending export permits of some military products.

“Canada’s statement regarding the suspension of export permits of some military products to our country, citing the rightful struggle of Azerbaijan to liberate its territories which were under the Armenian occupation for 30 years, is an indication of this country’s double-standard approach,” the ministry added.

Upper Karabakh conflict

Fighting in the Upper Karabakh region erupted on Sept. 27 when Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions, leading to casualties.

Many world powers including Russia, France, and the US have urged an immediate cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Multiple UN resolutions as well as many international organizations demand the withdrawal of the invading forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed upon in 1994.

Turkey’s defense industry

Several Turkish firms are active in the defense field through their cutting-edge military products such as armed UAVs, remote control guns, missiles, and air defense systems.

Especially Baykar and state-run Turkish Aerospace (TAI) manufacture world-class aerial vehicles with local sources.

Turkey conducts several successful operations in Syria with unmanned military vehicles.

Five Turkish firms — Aselsan, TAI, STM, Roketsan, and BMC — are among the top 100 defense companies globally.

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