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Supervision of Industrial Organizations Manufacturing Military Equipment, Weapons, Ammunition and Explosives and Catch-All Arrangements in Turkish Defense Industry

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The arms industry with over 600 modernization projects is booming in Turkey. The government policies in manufacturing and new offset regulations towards to domestic procurement ensure continuous transformation and development. The 2023 vision of the government is to be ranked in first ten countries in defense industry and to manufacture all ground vehicles, marine vessels and unmanned aerial vehicles domestically.

In consideration of all aforementioned plans and targets, Turkey has intended to change supply policies and focused on domestic production in providing the military requirements. Turkey’s defense industry is also getting more attractive by foreign manufacturers. The joint venture between Kale and Pratt & Whitney for the establishment of an F-135 engine center for F-35 fighter jets is important enough to demonstrate the foreign interest to the market.

In this regard, the manufacturers’ requirements to know more about the regulatory framework of supervision of their organizations become even more important. This article aims to provide regulatory information for companies who intent to establish their defense industry related manufacturing organizations in Turkey.

Law No 5201 dated 03.07.2004 which replaced Law No 3763 purposes to set out the principles and procedures of establishment, operation, obligation and supervision of industrial organizations manufacturing military equipment and spare parts, weapons, ammunition and explosives in Turkey and covers all real and legal persons and public enterprises and institutions.

The law requires such organizations to obtain license from the Ministry of Defense by taking the opinion of the Ministry of Industry and Trade for establishment and operation. Pursuant to the article 3 of the Law, the offers of real and legal persons concerning where the manufacturing and sale facilities, warehouses are proposed to be located  are approved by Ministry of Defense after obtaining the assent of Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

The weapons, ammunition, explosive materials and their spare parts to be offered to local market, producers and distributors are subject approval of Ministry of Defense following to the assent of General Staff and Ministry of Interior.

Every year, Ministry of Defense issues a list of weapons and military equipment and spare parts subject to supervision after getting opinions of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Trade, General Staff and other public institutions if deemed necessary.

The industrial organizations which are  subject to the provisions of  the Law should notify  i) the information  about their founders, capital, investors within the knowledge of the organization, managers and auditors, representatives,,  the genus and the annual quantity of the materials to be manufactured, number of personnel, the changes that occur in this information,  within one month from the date of change ii) the military equipment and supplies, weapons,  type and stocks of ammunition and explosives to be manufactured and handmade weapons and their ammunition and spare parts  to be produced by third parties under their  supervision and responsibility each year in January, iii) the type and amount of the orders received, the identities of ordering parties within a month to the Ministry of Defense.

Ministry of Defense, except for production for civilian purposes of the organizations, should notify the organization about his decision on the issue whether or not to accept orders outside of the needs of national defense within one month following to the assessment of the opinions based on homeland security, economy and public interest perspectives of General Staff, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant ministries. In case of no notification the order request shall be deemed accepted.

The export of all kinds of military equipment and supplies which are specified in the annual list of weapons, ammunition and explosives are subject to Ministry of Defense following to the assent of the General Staff and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Treasury providing a Cabinet Decree should cover the loss of the organizations in case of post facto conditions hindering the delivery of a pre-sale contracted weapon which is either not subject to permission as it is non-listed or listed and accepted through outside order.

Although not included in the annual list, the export of any kind of weapons  designed for mass destruction, consisting nuclear, biological and chemicals contents and the development and technology of the launch vehicles suspected to be used for such weapons requires the permission of Ministry of Defense in case of a suspicion that the end-user is developing weapons of mass destruction or in cases that may cause human rights violations and a danger national and international security or the suspicion is declared by the exporter company.

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