Martins, Bruno Oliveira; Pinar Tank & Beste İşleyen (2023) Turkish Drones as a Foreign Policy Tool: Using Technology as a Medium to Seek Autonomy, Middle East Policy Brief1. Oslo: PRIO.
Over the past 3 to 5 years, Turkey has rapidly emerged as a new global military exporter of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones. Turkish-made drones have played a major role in Ukraine’s resistance to Russian aggression and Azerbaijan’s success in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. Their use has been controversial elsewhere, including in Ethiopia, Libya and the Kyrgyz-Tajikistan border. They have also been used by Turkey in its campaign against Kurdish forces at home and abroad. Drones have given the Turkish government a new foreign policy tool, making it a rising regional power with myriad implications for regional and international politics, including providing a model for other emerging powers to emulate.