Several videos on the Internet show drones flying against Russian forces. What role did Turkish drones play in the Ukraine war?
Images of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones are circulating on the Internet these days, especially on Turkish-Ukrainian chat channels. These are videos that glorify the capabilities of these weapons that Kiev claims to have successfully used against the Russian military. The campaign is carried out with English and Turkish verses. The Embassy of Ukraine has released a number of related videos via Twitter.
However, it is not possible to verify the extent to which Kiev actually used these weapons. Moscow’s claim that it had successfully expelled Pyre can not be verified. However, Ukraine bought Turkish drones in 2019, especially 50, until the war broke out. Last Wednesday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense announced the recent issuance of a large number of piracy to Kiev, and a day later, President Volodymyr Zhelensky stressed how much Ukraine has benefited from them. The Turkish side, as usual, did not comment on the matter.
Weapons made by Erdogan’s nephew
Bayraktar TB2 drones were built by Baykar, a Turkish company started by two brothers, but grew into an arms exporter during the AKP regime. It was founded in 1984 and belongs to the Pyrrhic family, whose descendants are Celk Pyrk, the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The company increased its exports from 2006 to 2021, according to its own data. According to media reports, Bayraktar TB2 alone has agreements with 16 countries, including Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. Poland is also the first NATO member to announce a 24 unit order. With a total of 420,000 flight times in Iraq and Syria, Nagorno-Karabakh and Libya, the Piraktar TB2 is now fully operational. Most recently, they were said to have been used in an attack that led to the deaths of 58 civilians in Ethiopia. Experts estimate that this type of drone is more efficient and cheaper than other models in international competition.
Can they affect the outcome of the war?
There is no more credible evidence of the warlike nature of these armed groups. According to Wolfgang Richter, a former colonel and expert in science and politics in Berlin, it is doubtful whether Turkish drones will affect the outcome of the war in Ukraine after the Russian invasion.
As he points out, these drones could have significant impacts on the Russian military, for example in tanks. However, they are not valued enough to neutralize the opponent in ground battles with armor.
How does Turkey position itself against Moscow and Kiev?
Turkey has maintained good relations with Russia and Ukraine for many years. While supplying drones to Ukraine, at the same time, despite being a member of NATO, Russia also purchased S-400 fighter jets. However, the process of balancing after the Russian invasion seems difficult, says Daria Izatseko, an expert in the defense and defense of the Center for Application Studies for Turkey at the Scientific and Political Foundation. At present it seems that Erdogan cannot take a pro-power stance. This could have catastrophic consequences for Turkey’s security and economy.
Therefore, he estimates that Erdogan will only do what is “within the limits of his abilities.” For example, the closure of the Tortonelles Strait is included in this context. Finally, Issacho believes that Turkey will not join the regime of Western sanctions against Moscow. This will severely affect the Turkish economy and specific sectors such as tourism or imports of agricultural products.
Edited by: Dimitra Granoudy
Source: Deutsche Welle