ANKARA - As Turkey intensifies its efforts to fight the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, the budget for the National Defense has increased from YTL 13.3 billion to YTL 14.5 billion for 2009. The 2009 budget, submitted to Parliament’s Plan and Budget Commission, was approved Monday.
"Through the development of technology and its increasing accessibility, terrorist organizations have increased their opportunities and improved their abilities. In this way, they can attack any part of the world. Maintenance of TSK’s deterrence power is very important in this context," he said.
Pointing to Turkey’s bilateral military relations, Gönül said Turkey had signed an agreement for the cooperation of defense industries with 38 countries and on military training with 43 countries. Turkey has also signed bilateral framework agreements with 51 countries.
While TSK’s weapons, ammunition, equipment and other needs are met from public and private sector companies through tenders open to competition; research, development and technology activities that aim to meet needs by creating domestic opportunities are conducted by the Ar-ge and Technology Department within the National Defense Ministry.
Exports worth $420 million
"The cost of 41 research and development projects in the area of defense will be met by the national budget for the Ar-ge project during the 2007 to 2016 term, while the cost of 61 projects will be met by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, or TÜBİTAK," he said.
Referring to the increase in revenue of Turkey’s defense industry companies, which exceeded $2 billion in 2007, Gönül said exports from the sector are around $420 million. Revenue created by TSK’s internal needs is the most significant indicator of the industry’s performance, increasing 41.6 percent in 2007.
"This supports our belief that our strategic target of 50 percent will be attained," Gönül said.