Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on October 16, slammed against Canada’s suspension of drone technology export and said that Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s move was not in line with the spirit of alliance. Earlier this month, Canada had suspended the export of certain drone technologies to Turkey following allegations that they are being used in the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In a phone call on Friday, the two leaders discussed improving relations and increasing bilateral trade and they even talked about overcoming issues about co-operation in the defence sector.
Turkey’s presidency, in a statement, said that during the call President Erdogan said that Canada’s suspension of the export of some military goods to Turkey due to the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict is ‘against the spirit of alliance’. Earlier, Turkish Foreign Ministry had also said that the suspension showed a ‘double standard’.
On October 5, Canadian foreign minister Francois-Philippe Champagne had informed that the Global Affairs Canada has been directed to investigate the claims and in the meantime, he has halted the relevant export permits to Turkey. Champagne also expressed Canada's concern regarding the ongoing military face-off between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh resulting in shelling of communities and civilian casualties.
Armenia has accused Turkey of meddling in the conflict by sending thousands of mercenaries from Syria. According to exports data, Turkey’s military exports to its ally Azerbaijan have risen six-fold this year, with sales of drones and other military equipment rising to $77 million last month alone before fighting broke out over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Turkey, however, has dismissed all allegation and has even announced its support for Azerbaijan.
The skirmishes between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been going on since July this year with both sides reporting casualties. But on September 27 it turned into a major escalation and have been continuing ever since. Recently, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo also accused Turkey of increasing the risk of tension by supplying resources to Azerbaijan. While calling it ‘dangerous’, Pompeo said that Turks are ‘increasing the risk, increasing the firepower’ by providing the resources.