Canada resumes arms exports to Turkey, including drone technology
Canada announced on Monday the lifting of its weapons export controls to Turkey, a decision that includes drone optical technology. This change, detailed in an online notice, introduces a new policy where exports will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
In 2020, Canada, a NATO ally of Turkey, halted the sale of drone technology to Turkey. This decision followed evidence that Turkish-made drones, equipped with Canadian optical equipment, were used by Azerbaijan in the conflict with ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno Karabakh, a region accepted by the international community as belonging to Azerbaijan.
This shift in policy aligns with Turkey's recent decision to support Sweden's entry into NATO. The Canadian government's move to resume arms exports was first reported by Reuters last week.
The updated agreement requires Turkey to specify the potential re-export or transfer of the exported items to non-NATO countries, Ukraine being the only exception. Canada retains the right to revoke any export permits if misuse occurs.
Each export application will undergo rigorous scrutiny, a process in line with international arms trade norms. The exports in question include Wescam sensors used in Turkey's Bayraktar TB2 drones and other dual-use goods.