Report:Turkey cancels military deals with Israel
By JOSEPH NASR
The Turkish government has cancelled its military contracts signed with Israeli arms manufacturing companies "in protest of Israel's continuous aggression against the Palestinians", the Lebanese daily al-Mustaqbal reported Saturday.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Army Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, chief of the Turkish General Staff, and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, took the decision following a meeting with members of the Turkish Association for Military Industries, the newspaper reported.
Al-Mustaqbal quoted anonymous Turkish officials saying that the decision also includes the cancellation of multibillion-dollar arms contracts with the United States and that Turkey will instead rely on European military contractors for upgrading its military arsenal, notably French, British and German firms.
The Turkish government is interested in contracting European arms manufacturers in a bidding deal that will both alleviate Turkey's heavy spending on maintaining its army and boost it trade relations with the European Union which it eagerly wants to join.