In late August 2022, Haluk Bayraktar, the CEO of Bayraktar drone company Baykar, reportedly pledged that the company would not sell its drones to Russia “no matter how much money we are offered.” This, while expressly continuing to sell them to Kyiv in solidarity with Ukraine.
Yet in March, Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kiran reportedly told news outlet Sabah that the drone deal with Kyiv was between private Turkish defense firm Baykar and Ukraine, not aid from the government of Turkey to Ukraine. That distinction did not sit well with Moscow, with its April protest per Reuters.
None of the reports above necessarily forbid Ankara from buying the drones and providing them as aid to Moscow. However, as the CTO of Baykar, Selçuk Bayraktar is married to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s daughter, his joint promise with his brother Haluk that the company stands with Ukraine on moral grounds seems also to represent the sentiment of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan despite past musings in Ankara about allowing a Bayraktar plant to be built in Russia. If Turkey holds faith with the company’s good faith statement of support for Ukraine, it bodes better for bonds within NATO.