Turkey decries 'double standard' after Canada halts drone tech sales

"Turkey expects Canada to follow a policy free of double standards and to act without being influenced from those opposed to Turkey," its foreign ministry said in a statement.

Iranian versions of the American RQ-170 drone which were used in a military exercise in the Gulf in Iran, involving dozens of drones, are seen on the a runway, in this undated handout photo. (photo credit: REUTERS/TASNIM NEWS AGENCY)
Iranian versions of the American RQ-170 drone which were used in a military exercise in the Gulf in Iran, involving dozens of drones, are seen on the a runway, in this undated handout photo.
(photo credit: REUTERS/TASNIM NEWS AGENCY)
Canada's decision to suspend exports of some military technology over allegations the equipment was used by Azeri forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict shows a double standard, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
"Turkey expects Canada to follow a policy free of double standards and to act without being influenced from those opposed to Turkey," the ministry said in a statement.
"There is no explanation of blocking defense equipment exports to a NATO ally while... Canada does not see any harm in exporting arms to countries that have military involvement in the crisis in Yemen," it said.
Turkey carefully sticks to its obligations under its comprehensive export-control regime, the ministry added.
Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Monday that Canada suspended the export of some drone technology to Turkey while it investigates whether it was used by Azeri forces in more than a week of fierce clashes with Armenia.
Turkey has in the past supplied drones to Azerbaijan and has repeated that it stands firmly beside its close ally in the conflict over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Ottawa has suspended the export of some drone technology to Ankara while it probes allegations the equipment was used by Azeri forces involved in fighting with Armenia, a senior official said on Monday.
Project Ploughshares, a Canadian arms control group, says video of airstrikes released by Baku indicates the drones had been equipped with imaging and targeting systems made by L3Harris Wescam, the Canada-based unit of L3Harris Technologies Inc.
"In line with Canada's robust export control regime and due to the ongoing hostilities, I have suspended the relevant export permits to Turkey, so as to allow time to further assess the situation," Champagne said.
The Canadian Globe and Mail newspaper said that L3Harris Wescam had received permission this year to ship seven systems to Turkish drone maker Baykar. Turkey is a key ally of Azerbaijan, whose forces are fighting Armenians over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters he had asked Champagne to travel to Europe "to discuss with our allies the developments in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, particularly in Nagorno-Karabakh." He did not give more details; an aide to Champagne said the exact itinerary had not yet been worked out.