Turkey’s war expenditure: Some things never change

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Turkey’s 2018 military spending increased to $19 billion, as it expanded operations against Kurdish forces in Syria

In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Turkish government has not declared a full lockdown to protect the health of its citizens. The main reason behind this decision is the country’s economic situation. The government cannot say to its citizens: “Sit at home, just look after your health, we will pay your electricity, water and other costs during the pandemic,” because there is no money in the treasury. Everyone knows why, but we are not supposed to talk about it.

Today it is hard to speak openly about military spending in Turkey. It is also hard to even access information about Turkey’s war expenditure.

Just this week, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released their latest report on global military spending. They reported the largest annual increase in global military expenditure in a decade – reaching $1.9 trillion in 2019.

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Turkey’s military spending increased by 6 percent in 2019 to $20.8 billion, comprising 7.8 percent of government spending, at $245 per capita. Turkey’s 2018 military spending increased to $19 billion, as it expanded operations against Kurdish forces in Syria, according to the report. Between 2009 and 2019, Turkish military expenditure increased by 27 percent.

Read more: ahval

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