Turkish army

Turkey to increase its defense spending to 2% of GDP

Turkey’s defense spending in 2023 doubles that of Spain. Erdoğan maintains his conditions to approve Sweden’s entry into NATO.

Turkey will increase its defense spending to 2% of GDP in 2025, in line with NATO recommendations, according to documents relating to the state budget for the period 2023-2025.

By the end of 2022, Turkey’s defense spending will have reached 1.74% of its GDP. In 2023 it will have reached 268,6 billion liras (14.7 billion euros), while in 2024 it will be 327.5 billion liras (17.925 billion euros), and by 2025 it will have reached 378.1 billion liras (20.694 billion euros).

The budget item for R&D in defence for 2023 is 4,289 million liras (234.5 million euros). Currently, more than 760 defense projects valued at more than 70 billion euros are under development in Turkey.

Comparatively, Spain’s defense spending for 2023 according to official figures – despite increasing by 6.5% compared to 2022 – is estimated at 7.752 billion excluding modernization programs, reaching 7.923 billion if EU funds are added: that is, it will be almost half of what Turkey spends on its army. Still, Turkey’s military spending figure falls far short of that of the UK, which has set a spending target of 3% of its GDP and already spends more than €50 billion a year on defence.

During the last decade, Turkey – the 8th military power in the world, and which has the 2nd largest army in NATO, second only to the US – has renewed its efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in defence, going from importing 70% of its military material 10 years ago, to only 30% today, and the percentage of national production in the defense industry is expected to reach 80%. Its efforts include the development with its own technology of tanks, helicopters, frigates, aircraft carriers, ballistic missiles, drones

Erdoğan maintains his reticence about Sweden’s entry into NATO

On the other hand, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan insisted again this Friday that Turkey will not approve Sweden’s entry into NATO if the government in Stockholm does not commit to the fight against terrorism, and extradite the fugitives wanted by Ankara who currently live in its territory.

Referring to the issue of Sweden’s reluctance to extradite terrorist suspects wanted by Turkey, Erdoğan stressed that the Turkish government will not change its position, despite the fact that Turkey is, together with Hungary, the only country among the 30 members of the Atlantic Alliance. which has not yet voted in favor of the entry of the Nordic country.

“Of course, I do not consider this positive. But the new Swedish prime minister has asked for a meeting. I said, give him an appointment. We can discuss all these issues with him in our country,” Erdoğan told reporters on his return from Azerbaijan. “Our position is not going to change, because we are firmly committed to the fight against terrorism, and we have no intention of making any concessions,” he insisted.

Precisely, the new Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson assured yesterday that Sweden will redouble efforts to implement the trilateral agreement signed with Turkey, which would allow its entry into NATO. “I am fully ready to go to Ankara as soon as possible,” Kristersson said. Although his accession is still pending Turkey’s favorable vote, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that in the event of a Russian attack, NATO would not hesitate to act in defence of both Sweden and Finland.