Turkey eyes strong defense cooperation with PH

MANILA The Republic of Turkey is eyeing further cooperation with the Philippines in defense as the two countries celebrate their 70 years of strong bilateral ties.

"Turkey highly values its long-term friendly relations with the Philippines, dating back to the 1949 treaty of friendship," Turkey Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Artemiz Sumer said in a speech during the Victory Day of Turkey last Friday (August 30).

"The bilateral relations are increasing and diversifying steadily. In this frame, we believe we can further develop our cooperation in the field of defense," she added.

The envoy said the Turkish Armed Forces is the second-largest military force in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

She touted that Turkey's defense industry "increased considerably" to USD6 billion from USD1.86 billion in over a decade.

Sumer said Turkey, which is known for manufacturing weapons and military electronics, exported around USD1.67 billion in 2016.

In December 2018, the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) of the Republic of Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defense cooperation, which covers government-to-government acquisition, development, production, co-production, and transfer of defense technology.

In the 52nd Asean Foreign Ministers' Meeting, Post Ministerial Conferences and Related Meetings in Bangkok, Thailand in July, the Philippines and Turkey discussed ways to strengthen cooperation between the Philippines and Turkey in various fields such as defense, trade, investment, culture, education, and the development in Mindanao.

In 2016, Turkey was the Philippines' 45th top trading partner, 45th top export market, and 43rd top import supplier according to the Department of Trade and Industry. (PR)

Source: Philippines News Agency