After NGO pressure, government cancels permits for arms exports to Turkey
Our friends at Project Ploughshares exposed damning evidence that Canadian-made technology mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have been used extensively by Turkey in its recent military activities.
“Such use raises serious red flags, as it has been alleged that Turkey’s military has committed serious breaches of international humanitarian law (IHL) and other violations, particularly when conducting airstrikes,” said the report released in September.
This week the Globe and Mail reported that the federal government is cancelling 29 permits for exports of military goods to Turkey, saying an investigation revealed that made-in-Canada airstrike-targeting gear shipped to the Eurasian country was illegally diverted to the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
“It’s rare for Ottawa to cancel permits outright and the decision could hurt Canadian relations with Turkey, a NATO ally,” writes the Globe’s Steven Chase.
A Global Affairs report released Monday said there was “credible evidence” that Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones with Canadian targeting gear were used in a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a staunch ally of Turkey’s, over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Long-simmering tensions exploded last fall with six weeks of heavy fighting, which claimed more than 5,000 lives.
The Global Affairs report specifically cites the research conducted by Project Ploughshares. We interviewed the authors of the Ploughshares report in October, 2020 about the findings and how they generated the evidence.