The head of Turkey’s defense procurement agency said he is “disappointed” with local private companies’ performance, citing “a general lack of quality [in production standards] and a general reluctance to engage in R&D [research and development] activity and long-term investment vision.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the mental comfort of relying on the private sector,” Murad Bayar, head of the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), told a conference in Izmir on March 9.

“The more we work with the private sector, the more amateurish cases we observe,” said Bayar, who has headed the procurement mechanism for the past 10 years. “We are disappointed, and perhaps we must rethink our policies [on awarding contracts to boost private companies].”