“Much more on the way” in Turkey-Poland defense cooperation

Defense and trade cooperation with Poland, which became the first NATO or EU member state to acquire drones from Turkey, will continue at an increased pace during the period to come, Turkey’s envoy to Warsaw said on Monday.

Poland signed an agreement in May to purchase 24 armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Bayraktar TB2 from Turkish drone tycoon Baykar, who also exported the same model to Ukraine, Qatar and Azerbaijan.

The sale comes on the sidelines of a state visit to Ankara by Polish President Andrzej Duda.

“This is the first time that we have sold very important defense equipment to Poland, a NATO and European Union country. This is just a start. The rest will come, ”Cengiz Kamil Fırat told Agence Anadolu (AA).

Turkish drones have grown in popularity since the equipment was deployed to Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan in widely covered conflicts around the world.

Fırat highlighted strong diplomatic relations with Poland dating back at least 600 years, also noting that Poles have a positive outlook on Turkey and that there are many common cultural aspects.

Relations with Poland in the fields of defense, economy and trade will continue to accelerate, the ambassador said.

“Relations in all fields, such as economy, tourism, commerce, military industry, will progress a lot.”

“We had a trade volume of about $ 6 billion. Our presidents set a goal of increasing that amount to $ 10 billion. Starting this year, we’re increasing it to around $ 8 billion, ”he noted.

In terms of tourism, Turkey is one of the top three destinations for Polish travelers, he added.

“Before the pandemic, around 900,000 Poles were traveling to Turkey. Now our expectation after COVID-19 is first to go to 500,000, then to reach 1 million, before reaching 1.5 million in three years, ”he explained.

Emphasizing that Poland is a NATO ally, Fırat said Warsaw supports Turkey in the EU.

“They support Turkey in the geography it is in, and we support them in the geography they are in,” he said.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is expected to arrive in Poland next week before Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also arrives for an official visit, the ambassador said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to pay an official visit to Poland during the next year.

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