UN investigators have concluded that Turkey violated international sanctions on Somalia by supplying armed drones without notification to and approval of the UN.

According to the Panel of Experts on Somalia, which monitors the conflict in Somalia pursuant to the relevant UN Security Council resolution, Turkey violated the UN arms embargo by delivering armed Bayraktar drones, which are manufactured by a company owned by the family of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The confidential intelligence obtained by the UN investigators indicated that Turkey delivered Bayraktar TB2 drones to Mogadishu on December 6, 2021 via two Airbus A400M military cargo planes operated by the Turkish Air Force. Yet the Turkish government failed to file for an exemption with the UN before sending the drones despite the fact that the UN Security Council resolution explicitly specifies such clearance before the delivery of any arms to Somalia.

In response to letters of inquiry from the UN, Turkey claimed it had delivered the drones to a Turkish base in Mogadishu and that the goal was to contribute to the fight against terrorism. “Türkiye informed the Panel that it has not delivered any type of unmanned combat aerial vehicles to the Somali authorities and that the systems in question are assigned to be used by Türkiye in the fight against terrorism in Somalia,” the report issued by the UN experts on September 1, 2022 stated

through investments he made in Turkey.


Somali troops underwent training in Turkey on how to operate Bayraktar drones.

Turkish President Erdogan’s Islamist government has invested militarily and economically in Somalia, built a military base in Mogadishu and helped shady Turkish businesspeople acquire port and airport deals. With the help of Erdogan in 2014, management of the Mogadishu harbor facilities was handed over to the Islamist Albayrak Group, a Turkish conglomerate accused of corrupt practices in Turkey and abroad.

Bayraktar drones are manufactured by Istanbul-based defense contractor Baykar Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Şirketi (Baykar), which is run by Erdogan’s son-in-law Selçuk Bayraktar. The company has landed major contracts with the Turkish government as well as with foreign countries because of the considerable support it receives from Erdogan, who lobbies for the sale of drones to the Turkish Armed Forces as well to other countries.

Nordic Monitor previously published a classified report by Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) that showed how the Erdogan government had hushed up a probe into hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid to al-Shabab. According to the MASAK report, the Turkish Foreign Ministry sent letter No. 48378 to MASAK on March 22, 2013, attaching a request for information sent by the US Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, led by Under Secretary David S. Cohen at the time.

The intelligence picked up by the Americans indicated that Turkish national İbrahim Şen and his brother Abdulkadir Şen were involved in delivering $600,000 to al-Shabab between September and December 2012. Turkish authorities squelched the probe into the Şen brothers. A 2014 terrorism investigation in Turkey revealed that İbrahim Şen was working with Turkish intelligence in recruiting jihadists to fight in Syria and providing logistical supplies to them. Şen was previously a detainee at Guantanamo before he was handed over to Turkey in 2005.

Source Nordic Monitor