‘All Quiet on The Western Front’: Turkey’s Reintegration(?) into NATO through National Defense Industry


Nationalizing the defense industry has been a priority for the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – JDP). This attempt was also interpreted as a part of Turkey’s move away from its Western alliances, specifically North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

This study suggests that while Turkey’s fluctuating relations with NATO fueled its efforts to develop a national defense industry, the continued development of the industry relies on sustained relations with NATO (at least for the foreseeable future) for two reasons. First, despite the significant progress made, Turkey's membership in NATO created a path dependence and resulted in the national defense industry’s heavy reliance on NATO members for its growth. As a result, the industry is still tied primarily to NATO allies for the sustained imports of technology, parts and licensing. Second, the coercive instruments at NATO’s disposal (sanctions and embargoes) increase the costs of a potential departure from the Alliance.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v6n2p259

Keywords: Turkey, NATO, national defense industry


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