'The world will talk about Turkish UAVs, not F-35s'
US F-35s are very successful aircraft but Turkey is developing its own alternative, says technology minister
Turkey’s development of game-changing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is changing the global conversation away from fighter jets, said the Turkish industry and technology minister on Wednesday.
"When we launch our fighting UAVs, the world will talk about the fighting UAVs developed by Turkey, not F-35s," said Mustafa Varank, noting that Turkey is among only a handful of countries worldwide investing in UAV technology.
In order to become a leading country in high-tech fields, Turkey has stepped up in every field, he told the opening ceremony of a productivity and technology fair in the capital Ankara.
While a decade ago Turkey had to contend with importing and repairing UAVs, today Turkish UAVs will soon fly in European skies, as with Poland’s purchase of Turkish UAVs announced last month, Varank underlined.
"Previously, we were watching other countries' technology efforts like a movie, but today, Turkey can do its own space research," he stressed.
On the US F-35 fighter jets, a program Turkey is no longer a part of, he said F-35s are very successful aircraft but that Turkey is developing its own alternative with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
On global trade, he said boosting world trade and economic competition among countries makes it necessary to use time and labor power more productively.
"Productivity is an indispensable factor for sustainable growth and also fundamentally affects the competitiveness of countries and companies," he stressed.
*Writing by Gokhan Ergocun from Istanbul