Interview: How peace researchers halted arms exports to Turkey
This week the Trudeau government suspended weapons sales to Turkey, a NATO ally, after peace researchers proved Canadian-built drone cameras were being used in the deadly conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The fighting has killed hundreds of people, and a report by Project Ploughshares researcher Kelsey Gallagher showed conclusive evidence that Azeri military forces were using drones built by Turkey, and equipped with cameras manufactured in Burlington, Ontario, to target airstrikes.
Steven Staples asks Kelsey Gallagher and Cesar Jaramillo how their research pushed Canada to halt arms exports to Turkey. Runs 5 minutes.
“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,” says the report, “Killer Optics: Exports of WESCAM sensors to Turkey – a litmus test of Canada’s compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty.”
We need to have a serious, honest, national conversation about Canada and the arms trade.Cesar Jaramillo, Project Ploughshares
I spoke to Kelsey Gallagher and Project Ploughshares Executive Director Cesar Jaramillo to learn how they were able to make the conclusive connection between Canadian technology and the bloodshed. It’s a fascinating story of how peace research compelled the government to take action, and raises even more questions about the state of Canada’s arms control laws.
Airstrike footage recorded by Turkish drones (via YouTube).