Turkey's Ascent to Global Drone Supremacy Under Erdogan's Son-in-Law

Dive into the world of Baykar and its chairman, Selcuk Bayraktar, who is not only known as the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but also as the visionary behind Turkey's remarkable journey in the drone industry. Uncover the implications of Turkey's drone prowess on global politics and warfare.

Turkey's Ascent to Global Drone Supremacy Under Erdogan's Son-in-Law
Turkey's Ascent to Global Drone Supremacy Under Erdogan's Son-in-Law

Turkey's Baykar, led by Selcuk Bayraktar, has become a key player in the world of lethal combat drones. This blog post explores their remarkable journey and the impact of their advanced drone technology on both domestic and international fronts.

Baykar's Chairman: Selcuk Bayraktar

Selcuk Bayraktar, who happens to be the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is at the helm of Baykar. He's not just a prominent figure for his familial ties but also for leading Turkey's ascent in the drone industry.

Baykar's Cutting-Edge Drones: A Game Changer

Baykar's recent unveiling of its new generation of unmanned combat aircraft has turned heads. These drones promise enhanced speed, extended range, and increased weapon capabilities. Their significance was most evident when Ukraine effectively utilized Baykar's TB2 drones against Russian forces, marking a turning point in the company's journey.

Erdogan's Vision: A Self-Sufficient Defense Industry

Baykar plays a pivotal role in President Erdogan's vision to establish a self-sufficient defense industry. Their product range includes armed drones, fighter jets, and warships, all designed to support Turkey's assertive foreign policy in a region marred by conflicts. Notably, the company's drone sales have surged, particularly since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, amplifying Turkey's political influence far beyond the Middle East.

Ambitions Beyond Borders: Expanding Global Influence

In a candid interview at an air force base near Ankara, Selcuk Bayraktar outlined Baykar's ambitions to expand further. The company plans to start mass-producing advanced drones that will launch from Turkey's newly constructed mini aircraft carrier, the TCG Anadolu. Simultaneously, they are seeking to increase their presence in markets across Africa, Europe, and Asia with a range of drone models.

Revolutionizing Military Capabilities

Baykar's upcoming drone models are poised to revolutionize Turkey's military capabilities. They are set to extend Turkey's influence from the Black Sea and the Caucasus to the eastern Mediterranean and the shores of North Africa, thanks to their extended flight time and operational radius.

Global Reach: Expanding Sales to 31 Countries

Currently, Baykar sells its flagship TB2 drones in 31 countries, a significant increase from just two overseas buyers four years ago. This growth underscores the international community's growing interest in their drones.

Changing Face of Warfare: Turkey's Drone Impact

Turkey's strategic use of drones has reshaped the dynamics of warfare in a volatile region. Unmanned aerial vehicles have played a pivotal role in counterinsurgency efforts and have swung conflicts in various regions. Turkey's drones offer a unique advantage, especially to countries outside of NATO, as they are more accessible and come with a lower political cost compared to drones from other major suppliers.

Affordable High-Quality Technology

Despite facing competition from the U.S., Israel, and China as leading drone suppliers, Baykar has carved out a niche as a reliable source of high-quality, cost-effective war technology. The company's commitment to technology transfer and local license production sets them apart in the market.

Financial Success and Increased Production Capacity

Baykar's success is evident in its financial performance, with 82% of its profits coming from exports over the past two decades. Their production capacity has seen a remarkable 50% increase in the last year.

Turkey's Unique Position

While Turkey's drones may not match the performance of modern combat aircraft from major players, their affordability makes them an attractive choice. This unique position establishes Turkey as a significant arms exporter and strengthens its role as a regional power.

The Journey of Baykar: From Machinery to Military Technology

Baykar, founded in 1986 as a machinery company by Selcuk Bayraktar's father, Ozdemir, shifted its focus to military equipment with Selcuk's entry in 2007. Selcuk's marriage to President Erdogan's daughter, Sumeyye, in 2016 further solidified his connection to the Turkish leadership.

Political Ambitions and National Technology

Local media reports have speculated about Selcuk Bayraktar's potential role in Turkish politics, but it's a topic he rarely addresses directly. However, his commitment to realizing the ideal of a national technology move is evident. Baykar will continue to strive for Turkey's self-sufficiency in military power, surpassing regional rivals.

Conclusion: A Rising Power in Drone Technology

In conclusion, Baykar, under the leadership of Selcuk Bayraktar, is making Turkey a prominent player in the global drone industry. Their ambitions, technological advancements, and international influence are positioning Turkey as a key player in modern warfare and international diplomacy. Baykar's role in shaping Turkey's self-sufficient military power is a significant step toward regional leadership.