Erdogan said on June 18 that Turkey is getting ready to widen its defense industry by building its own aircraft carriers. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
ISTANBUL, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Turkey is getting ready to widen its defense industry by building its own aircraft carriers, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday.
"Turkey, after building its amphibious ship Anadolu, will be ready to construct its own aircraft carriers," Erdogan said at the launching ceremony of a Turkish naval corvette.
Turkey begun the construction of Anadolu in April, the country's first naval flagship set to be operational in 2021 and suitable for the landing of F-35 jets.
Erdogan, while stressing the importance of developing Turkey's defense industry, noted that the industry's foreign dependency was around 80 percent in 2002 but has dropped to 40 percent now.
He said Turkey cannot stall on defense industry and military issues "because of our strategic geographical location."