Votes for Drones: Turkey's election and the future of drone diplomacy

Votes for Drones: Turkey's election and the future of drone diplomacy


05 May, 2023

Turkish citizen will be voting in a highly anticipated and consequential election on 14 May. 

The two frontrunners for the office of president, are incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the main opposition candidate Kemel Kilicdaroglu.

They have both been holding rallies, attempting to reach as many voters as possible. 

Opposition candidate Kemel Kilicdaroglu did cause a stir at a campaign event, when he questioned the private nature of Turkey's drone manufacturers, and asked whether there should be more state control. 

With a backlash brewing, he quickly changed direction, pledging full support to the industry. 

The incident did raise some questions. What's so special about Turkey's drones? How do the private manufacturers and the state work together? How does the state us the drones? And what impact will the upcoming election have on the domestic drone industry?

Joining us to discuss Turkey's drones is Soner Cagaptay (@SonerCagaptay), a senior fellow and the director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute (@WashInstitute). 

This podcast is written by Ali Abbas Ahmadi and produced by Hugo Goodridge.

Theme music by Omar al-Fil. 

Other music by Blue Dot Sessions.

To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice or email