Turkish delegation in Israel to test UAVs - report

The Turks arrived today despite the Turkish prime minister's declaration that bilateral military agreements are suspended.

Turkish daily "Zaman" reports that a Turkish military delegation arrived in Tel Aviv today "to conclude test-runs in the delivery of four Israeli-made drones, the remaining lot in a 10-UAV deal between Turkey and Israel."

This completely contradicts a report in the same newspaper last Thursday that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had suspended all bilateral military agreements with Israel.

According to today's report the Turkish military delegation will stay in Israel for nearly two weeks, "To test the Heron UAVs, the electronic equipment and spare parts. Six drones were shipped to Turkey in February under the $180-million contract."

Yet the same newspaper explicitly cited the supply of Heron UAVs to the Turkish Air Force by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) and Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE:ESLT) as one of the deals that had been suspended.

According to reports in the Turkish media over the past few days the Turkish military is using the Israeli UAVs to attack the PKK rebels who are fighting for Kurdish independence in southeast Turkey where they are the majority population. The BBC reported yesterday that Prime Minister Erdogan had vowed to "destroy" the PKK rebels. Erdogan said, "They will drown in a sea of their own blood."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 22, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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