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Deconstructing deals? (Illustration) Photo: Reuters
Deconstructing deals? (Illustration) Photo: Reuters


Fear: Turkey may pull deals with Israel

Defense establishment says Ankara's growing vex with Israel's Gaza offensive may result in canceling ongoing contracts, suspending future negotiations

Arie Egozi
Published: 01.15.09, 09:19 / Israel Business

The military industries have expressed concerns that the Israeli offensive in Gaza may have an unforeseen industrial backlash on their out-of-state contracts.


Sources in the industries fear the mounting objections to the Gaza campaign noted in Muslim countries, especially Turkey, may place various business ventures at risk.

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"Right now we fear that current contracts may be dropped and the deals which are being negotiated may be put on indefinite hold," said a source in one of the industries closely linked with Turkey.


The value of the ventures which may be at risk amounts to circa $2 billion.


The industries' concerns are based on several recent statements made by Turkish officials, condemning the operation in the Strip.


Earlier this week, Turkey's Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul was quoted as saying that Ankara "has no pending military acquisition deals with Israel at this time."


The Turkish military is usually enthused about obtaining Israeli-made military systems, which development is based on vast operational experience.


The military industries are especially concerned for the future of a recent, $141 million deal, signed between Elbit Systems Ltd. and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and the Turkish Air Force. The deal calls for the IAI and Elbit to supply Turkey with Air and Space Imagery Intelligence Systems (IMINT) across a four-year period.


Despite growing concerns, the military industries shy from any public statements: "The relationship with Turkey is strained as it is," said a defense establishment source. "The Turkish Military had always pushed for deals with Israel, even after the Muslim government came to power. It has always been a tricky situation and now it has become even harder." 


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