Turkey News

Morocco Turkey: Towards closer military cooperation

Morocco has created a post of military attaché in Turkey, a country that has become a major supplier to the FAR over the past few years. This post is intended to better prospect the fake military industry, according to Mohamed Chakir, expert in defense issues, who discusses the prospects for the development of military cooperation between Rabat and Ankara.

At the end of the Council of Ministers, chaired on Wednesday by the Sovereign, it was announced the creation of two military attaché posts in India and Turkey. Two countries with which the Kingdom has strengthened its cooperation in recent years. The Kingdom’s embassy in Ankara will now have an officer in charge of military affairs. This choice is not fortuitous insofar as the two countries have multiplied arms contracts in recent years. “It is a way of diversifying military partners, as is the case with the new doctrine of Moroccan foreign policy from 2014”, adds the expert.

Turkey has become one of the credible suppliers on which Morocco can count in the years to come, especially as Turkish technology has proven itself and seems to be increasingly in demand on the international market. “A military attaché was needed in Turkey since quite simply this country has become an important arms supplier”, explains Mohammed Chakir, an expert in military matters, who recalls that the FAR acquired nearly 24 unmanned combat drones, including the famous “(UCAV) Bayraktar TB2”. Drones, remember, is one of the priorities of the Royal Armed Forces who rely on this futuristic technology in the strengthening of the Air Force. Indeed, a squadron of drones could see the light of day soon.

The appointment of a new military attaché is part of this increased cooperation in the field of armaments. “We need a permanent interlocutor at the level of the diplomatic representation to better negotiate and conclude arms contracts, a personality who can act as a link between the Moroccan authorities and their Turkish counterparts and do prospecting, and benchmarking on the Turkish military industry”, continues our interlocutor, adding that the creation of such a post is “a necessity” at a time when the FAR are in a phase of modernization of their air and maritime arsenal. Morocco, it should be remembered, is interested in Turkish technology in several types of armament, namely drones, helicopters and warships. In addition to drones, the Kingdom is considered among the potential buyers of Turkish “T-126 Atak” helicopters. The negotiations were announced as early as 2018, but they were not followed by any official announcement. Ditto for the fast attack ships (FAC), of which Morocco would have ordered seven copies, last January, according to Tactical Report.

Can we expect joint exercises in the coming years between the two countries, given the close cooperation in the field of armaments? Mohammed Chakir believes that this is unlikely to happen in a bilateral framework. “If there were exercises, they would only take place within a multilateral framework and in particular within the framework of cooperation with NATO”, he affirms, recalling that Turkey is a member of the Alliance Atlantic.