Cyber Defense ‘Indispensible Part’ of Turkey’s National Security: Senior Official

The head of Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defense Procuremen Murad BayarNew technologies and solutions against cyber threats promise to become an emerging market in Turkey, according to officials and industry sources.

This year alone, Turkey has hosted about a dozen conferences on cybersecurity and new technologies. The most recent one held here Nov. 19-20 brought together 450 military officers, cyber experts, cyber defense officials and industry representatives from Turkey, the US, Britain, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Finland, Hungary, Albania, Azerbaijan and South Korea. . . .

“Cyber defense has become an indispensible part of our national defense,” Murad Bayar, Turkey’s procurement chief, told the conference. “This has become in line with [increased] government and private demand [for solutions] as technology constantly evolves.”

Bayar said cyberwarfare in Turkey was increasingly becoming a “military issue.” “Cyber threats are expanding asymmetrically, hence a need for network-centric strategy [to tackle these threats],” said Bayar, head of the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM).

Also speaking at the conference, Col. Cengiz Ozteke, commander of the military General Staff’s division for electronic systems and cyber defense, said the Turkish military considers cybersecurity as the country’s “fifth force” — after land, air, sea and space.

“We set out to this new task after having viewed cyberattacks as a national security threat,” he said.

In recent years, Turkish security institutions increasingly have faced cyberattacks from local and foreign agents, officials often emphasize.

In June, the Turkish government launched the Center for Response to National Cyber Threats. Earlier, the Turkish military headquarters formed a Cyber Warfare Command.

Image: The head of Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defense Procuremen Murad Bayar (photo: Government of Turkey)