Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs/drones) have become an indispensable asset in military operations since the beginning of the century. After the end of the Cold War, the US ‒ with its MQ-1 Predator and Reaper drones ‒ was the dominant state (followed by Israel) in terms of the drone manufacturing and use. Using these drones in its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,
this new technology enabled the US to maintain its superpower status unchallenged. However, in recent years, Türkiye has emerged as a rising drone power. Türkiye has been able to successfully incorporate indigenous drones ‒ especially TB2 ‒ in its military operations against the PKK/YPG and the Syrian regime in several cases. However, the success of the Turkish drones was only brought to widespread attention after it changed the dynamics of several conflicts, i.e., Libya, Azerbaijan.
This policy brief will present an overview on the main rationale of the rise and advancement of Turkish drone industry. Furthermore, the study will highlight several case studies of conflicts where Turkish drones have been used to explain the reasons behind their successful application in warfare.