Canada Lifts Drone Technology Export Controls to Turkey

Canada will now review exports to Turkey case-by-case and can cancel permits if misuse is suspected.
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  • 12:45 PM, April 30, 2024
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Canada Lifts Drone Technology Export Controls to Turkey
Bayraktar TB2 @Baykar

Canada announced the lifting of weapons export controls to Turkey late on Monday, including crucial drone optical technology.

This is according to an official notice posted online by Global Affairs, the country's foreign ministry. This decision marks a shift from the previous suspension implemented in 2020, when Canada halted drone technology sales to Turkey following concerns over the use of Canadian optical equipment in Turkish-made drones during the conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces in Karabakh.

The conflict in Karabakh saw the use of advanced drones, including Turkey's Bayraktar TB2, equipped with Wescam sensors. Canada's export controls had been put in place after it was determined that the optical equipment was utilized in combat by Azerbaijan. Since then, there have been developments in the diplomatic and security landscape that have led to this reversal.

According to the announcement, Canada will now review all exports to Turkey on a case-by-case basis and has the authority to cancel permits if any misuse is suspected. The agreement also includes provisions where Turkey will specify if the items will be re-exported and to where, excluding NATO countries other than Ukraine.

This resumption of exports follows Turkey's recent approval of Sweden's NATO membership bid, signifying a broader shift in diplomatic relations.

The decision to restart exports comes after months of negotiations between the two nations. A spokesperson from the Canadian Foreign Ministry, Charlotte MacLeod, emphasized that despite the lifting of export controls, Ottawa remains committed to resolving outstanding issues with Turkey, given its status as a NATO ally.

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