Over the last 3–5 years, Turkey has rapidly emerged as a new global exporting power of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones. Turkish-made drones have played important roles in the Ukrainian resistance against the Russian invasion and in Azerbaijan’s success in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. Elsewhere, including in Ethiopia, Libya, and in the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border, their use has been surrounded by polemic. They have also been used by Turkey in operations against Kurdish forces both at home and abroad. Drones have granted the Turkish government a new instrument of foreign policy, projecting it as a regional rising power, and have myriad implications in regional and international politics, including as providing a model to be followed by other emerging powers.
Martins, Bruno Oliveira; Pinar Tank & Beste İşleyen (2023) Turkish Drones as a Foreign Policy Tool: A Technology-Mediated Search for Autonomy, MidEast Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.