Today, Turkish Defense Industries President Ismail announced, prior to departing for London that the government of the United Kingdom had fully repealed all of its arms export bans on Turkey.
In 2019, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, and several other nations including the United States, quietly banned the export of most weapons to Turkey following their invasion of Northern Syria. In December of 2021, the United Kingdom reduced their stance when they agreed to resume arms sales, but only if Ankara could prove those weapons were not being used in Syria. However, after todays press conference and ongoing visit to London by the chief of Turkish Defense, it appears those barriers are completely done away with.
The Finnish Government has also publicly reiterated that their “position has not changed”, with regards in designation PKK a terrorist organization in 1984.
President Erdogan of Turkey has publicly announced that two primary reasons prevent the Turkish government from entering into a collective defense treaty with Sweden and Finland; arms restrictions and sympathies for the YPG and PKK. However, it is important to note that when Finland enacted arms restrictions against Turkey in 2019, they were not selling weapons to Ankara to begin with.
One thing is clear, Turkey has enormous bargaining power with NATO nations at the moment. Since any of the 30 NATO nations has veto power to prevent Sweden and Finland from joining, President Erdogan sees his chance to win several foreign policy battles and hopefully recover his failing economy.