In the last few years, almost every visiting foreign dignitary representing a country potentially a buyer of weapons systems has been taken to TUSAŞ Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) so that its proud war toys could be showcased: A drone and a basic trainer aircraft.

Both aircraft (well, their fancy photos) were illustrated on election billboards with President (then Prime Minster) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proudly heralding to the Turks that “100 percent Turkish-made military aircrafts were flying.”

With the local aerospace technology Turkey would gain from both aircraft programs, the country would eventually design, develop and produce a fighter jet – and sell all three to foreign buyers. […]