Strengthening Turkish Policy on Drone Exports



Alper Caskun | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Drones are quickly becoming the weapon of choice for many states and, worryingly, even for nonstate actors. They are relatively cheap and have proven to be very effective both in offensive and defensive operations. Turkey has been capitalizing on the noteworthy performance of its domestically produced drones in operational theaters ranging from Syria and Libya to the South Caucasus as Ankara seeks to steadily increase the number of drones it sells to other countries.

But this success has come at a price—Turkey is drawing international attention, and at times attracting criticism, over its drone export policies. The latest example was in December 2021 when the United States reportedly expressed humanitarian concerns over the use of Turkish drones in Ethiopia, where conflict between the government and fighters in the region of Tigray continues with severe implications for the civilian population. According to unofficial reports, Turkey brushed off this criticism by highlighting its engagement with all parties involved to help resolve the conflict and pointing out that Ankara attaches humanitarian provisions to its arms sales.

Strengthening Turkish Policy on Drone Exports - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

To read the full report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, please click here