Stop Arming Turkey
We call on the British state and all other states to halt all arms sales to Turkey and military contracts with Turkish companies immediately.
Turkey is a priority market for British arms companies. According to figures compiled by Campaign Against Arms Trade, the UK government has approved at least £1.5bn worth of arms export licenses since 2008. However this is only the figure which the UK government has released, the actual figure may be much higher.
The Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, a governing document of the British Government, forbids the sale of arms to regimes which carry out human rights abuses. It’s clear that arming Turkey breaks UK arms export laws. But the value of known UK export licences for military equipment to Turkey from July 2013 to June 2016, was £466 million, and has been rising. Many of the licences were for components, including those for surface-to-air missiles and helicopters.
In 2017, Theresa May approved a £125m deal for British company BAE to develop Turkey’s TF-X Fighter jet.
British exports to Turkey amounted to £11 billion in 2018. Due to the open-ended nature of arms export licences and the fact that some licences have not been publically revealed it is not known exactly how much of this comes from arms sales. However, we do know that the arms industry is a key part of these exports to the regime in Ankara.
As Turkey’s arms industry grows rapidly, Britain also imports billions of pounds worth of Turkish weaponry.
In June 2019, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox visited Turkey for talks with Turkish government ministers with the aim of increasing trade
Turkish weapons companies
International weapons companies
We call on our friends to
- Take action against the Turkish and international companies selling weapons to the Turkish state.
- Pressure governments to end all military cooperation with the Turkish state, including the issuing of export licences to Turkey.
- Campaign for the immediate imposition of a complete international arms embargo against the Turkish state, including so-called “dual-use technology”.
- Read Campaign Against the Arms Trade’s profile on Turkey.
- Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) is an umbrella group made up of activists, trade unionists, and campaign groups in the UK.