Turkish Defense Industry Positioned to Weather the Storm with Cross Sector Collaboration

The President of TOBB Defense Industry Council, Yılmaz KÜÇÜKSEYHAN evaluates how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted defense industry companies from the outset of the outbreak and what precautions decision makers have implemented to help businesses come out of this crisis unscathed.

Date: Issue 99 - June 2020

Defence Turkey: Mr. KÜÇÜKSEYHAN, thank you so much for meeting with us in this video interview as we all are working remotely these days. We see that the defense industry is also affected by this process. You closely follow the problems that have arisen in the sector with industry stakeholders and establish the necessary coordination. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our companies? What kind of cooperation has been established within the sector regarding supply processes, supports/aids and coordination?

Yılmaz KÜÇÜKSEYHAN: I regard the COVID-19 outbreak as a hot war, because when you examine the history, you cannot see a war with so many casualties in the world at the same time. For this reason, we are under harsh combat conditions. It is impracticable to claim that the defense industry, which is the critical and solid part of the economy, is not affected by this pandemic. Considering the ecosystem as a whole, the impact on the defense industry has been relatively minor when compared to other sectors. Despite all the embargoes imposed, and the countries that opposed the Peace operations that we conducted in Syria and Iraq in 2019, I consider the 2019 figures as a very pleasing picture. This is an indicator of the sector's discipline, and the tremendous systematic efforts exerted. I would like to thank all the contributors and colleagues.