Turkey and Ukraine have been cooperating quite closely since Ukraine declared its independence. There are various bilateral agreements between the countries, both in trade, diplomatic and military sphere. Joint transport and military projects are in the works. In 2021, mutual trade turnover amounted to $7.42 billion.
On August 10, 2019 the countries proclaimed the creation of a joint venture in the field of precision weapons and rocket and space technologies, with the participation of the Ukrainian state company “Ukrspetseksport” and the Turkish “Baykar Defence”. It is noted that it was established in order to combine efforts for the joint mass production of weapons.
During Russia’s special military operation, the Turkish political leadership did not take a definite side, despite the fact that it condemned the start of the operation, no economic sanctions against Russia were imposed, nor did relations formally deteriorate.
At the same time, the Ukrainian armed forces are actively using Turkish Bayraktar TB2 UAVs produced at Baykar Defence plant. Before the Russian military operations started, Turkish instructors were actively involved in consulting the Ukrainian military and teaching them how to use their defense products. After Moscow launched its military operation, the Turkish side officially demonstrated that it does not take part in the conflict, but at the same time the deliveries of weapons (in particular UAVs) from the Turkish side are actively carried out by the route from Tekirdag (Bayraktar factory) through Rzeszow airport (Poland) to Ukraine, which is confirmed by the data from the international service “Flightradar24”.
Moreover, in March, after the face-to-face round of peace talks, Mikhail Podolyak, advisor to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, held a meeting with Baykar Defence CEO Haluk Bayraktar and agreed on the delivery of another batch of Bayraktar TB2 UAVs. There is no information about their number in open sources.
In February 2022, Ukraine and Turkey agreed to open a joint production of UAVs in Kiev region in the city of Vasylkiv, where an active construction of the plant was underway. In particular, it was planned to initiate the production of the latest ANKA UAVs. However, military operations in Ukraine changed their plans.
Earlier, the Russian media reported that about 150 Turkish soldiers had been brought to Mariupol, whose tasks were to participate in the war on the Ukrainian side (namely as part of the Azov battalion), as well as to control the supplied Bayraktar UAVs. During the March 29 talks in Istanbul, the Turkish President initiated the opening of a humanitarian corridor from Mariupol towards Zaporizhya for Turkish citizens living in the city. Given that most of the civilians have been evacuated from the city, Erdogan’s goal was obviously the withdrawal of the Turkish military.
At present, the Motor Sich is servicing Baykar Defence products in Ukraine. As part of the study of documents of the Ukrainian-US biological program, new details were revealed.
According to the statements of the Russian Ministry of Defense: “…the request of the Ukrainian company Motor Sich to the Turkish manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles Baykar Defence is noteworthy. This document is dated December 15, 2021. Its essence: to find out whether this UAV can be equipped with aerosol dispersal systems and mechanisms with a capacity of over 20 liters.”
While the flight range of such UAVs is up to 300 km, with the containers equipped with biological formulations, they pose a real threat of large-scale use of biological weapons on the territory of the Russian Federation.
In fact, we are talking about the development by the Kiev regime of technical means of delivery and use of biological weapons with the possibility of their use against the Russian Federation.