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Turkmen Speaker, Turkish Defense Companies Discuss Ties

By Nigar Bayramli December 29, 2023

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Bayraktar TB-2 UAVs developed by the Turkish defense company Baykar were displayed in the parade celebrating the Independence Day of Turkmenistan held on 27 September, 2021. / Savunma Haber

The speaker of the Turkmen People’s Council, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, discussed closer cooperation with the heads of Turkish defense firms.

Berdimuhamedow, also known as the National Leader and the former president of Turkmenistan, met with Haluk Bayraktar of “Baykar Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.” and Fuat Tosyalı of “BMC Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.” in Ashgabat on December 26, according to Turkmenportal.com, a pro-government source.

During the meeting, the parties explored ways to further develop relations in the defense field, and agreements were reached in this sphere. The Turkish companies proposed supplying certain types of defense products, emphasizing that providing Turkmenistan with new, modern models of their high-quality products, in great demand worldwide, would significantly contribute to strengthening the partnership.

In turn, Berdimuhamedow reminded his guests of his country’s neutrality, which is based on “peaceful, good-neighborly, brotherly, and friendly relations.”

According to Business Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan is successfully implementing reform programs for the continuous modernization of the material and equipment base of the National Army, in compliance with the defense-only Military Doctrine.

BMC, a prominent Turkish defense company, manufactures a diverse range of military assets, including drones, tanks, armored vehicles, personnel carriers, and military trucks. Meanwhile, Baykar, an expert in Artificial Intelligence-driven Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), has achieved global recognition. Notably, its Bayraktar TB-2 UCAV has seen deployment in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and North Africa. The Turkish Armed Forces utilized these drones in both domestic military operations and international conflict zones like Syria and Libya.

Baykar announced in late October that the Bayraktar TB-2 UCAV had been exported to 13 countries, including Turkmenistan. The UCAV exported to Turkmenistan features a three-bladed engine, similar to the Bayraktar TB2 UCAV systems exported to Azerbaijan. Turkmenistan showcased its Turkish Bayraktar drones for the first time at the country’s Independence Day parade on September 27, 2021.

Turkmenistan’s military strength is ranked 82 out of 145 countries according to the annual Global Fire Power review for 2023, with a defense budget of $407 million.

Since 1995, Turkmenistan has adhered to a policy of permanent neutrality and is not a member of any military-political blocs worldwide. The country’s cooperation with NATO focuses on introducing and familiarizing Turkmen personnel with key NATO security-related issues, as well as enhancing collaboration in areas such as border control and security, science and environmental issues, and civil preparedness.