October 16, 2019 / 6:29 PM / a month ago

Arms sales bans will not impact Turkey's defence industry - industry head

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The Turkish defence industry will not be hit by embargoes or bans on arms sales, the head of the presidency’s Defence Industries Directorate was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

European Union countries agreed on Monday to limit arms exports to Turkey over its offensive even as they stopped short of a bloc-wide embargo against a NATO ally.

Ismail Demir said on Wednesday that arms sales bans and embargoes would not would impact Turkey’s defence industry.

“We’ve made our analyses regarding these, we’ve taken the necessary measures including issues like alternative sources and domestic production,” he was quoted as saying by state-owned Anadolu agency.

The EU exported 45 million euros ($50 million) worth of arms and ammunition to Turkey last year, including missiles, according to EU statistics office Eurostat.

Sales of aircraft to Turkey, although not all military, amounted to 1.4 billion euros last year, according to Eurostat. The EU is the top foreign investor in Turkey.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Turkish officials, including the defence minister and his ministry, hiked tariffs and halted trade talks in an effort to persuade Ankara to stop attacks against the Kurdish YPG militia in northeastern Syria.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen

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