Three and a half trillion dollars for the war in Kurdistan

The attempt to resolve the Kurdish question through war has cost the Turkish state more than three and a half trillion US dollars, according to research.

Research shows that the Turkish state's bellicose response to the Kurdish question has cost the country more than $3.5 trillion and deprived it of large amounts of international investment. This was reported by the Yeni Yaşam newspaper on Monday.

The newspaper referred to a 2021 report by Izzet Akyol, published by the London-based Democratic Progress Institute. It states that Turkey's failure to resolve the Kurdish issue politically has come at a significant cost. In addition to the direct costs of financing four decades of armed conflict, the fighting has also inhibited productivity and domestic investment, slowed international investment and reduced tourism revenues, Akyol said.

"In other words, you can say that Turkey's annual growth rate would be one per cent higher without conflict," Akyol said. "Turkey has been in a state of armed conflict for almost 40 years. The wasted resources have cost Turkey trillions of dollars."

Akyol's findings are supported by a 2015 report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which estimated that Turkey is missing out on three-quarters of its potential international investment due to its involvement in conflict.

While international investment at the time was around $370 billion, Yeni Yaşam quoted then Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek as saying that estimated spending on warfare was around $350 billion. This increased to one trillion dollars when the loss of investment opportunities caused by conflicts was taken into account.

Şimşek was probably referring to Ankara's involvement in the civil war in Syria, where Turkey is one of the main supporters of the opposition against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. However, according to Akyol, the Kurdish issue is by far Turkey's longest running and costliest conflict.

"Turkey's failure to find a solution to the problem within the policy framework has come at a huge economic cost to the country. Turkish policies are neither pragmatic nor flexible or rational and are already clearly inhibiting economic growth. The circumstances created by 40 years of conflict have also created huge economic costs for Turkey," said Izzet Akyol.

410 million dollars a month for howitzers

The article in the Yeni Yaşam calculates Turkey's costs for the war in Kurdistan. According to this, assault howitzers can fire 240 to 250 projectiles per hour. The howitzers are used for two hours a day in the invasion of southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq), which means that an average of 500 howitzer shells are used. Each of these shells is worth about $1,000. 500 shells per day means 500,000 dollars. The annual cost of a single howitzer is about $50 million. The monthly cost of a howitzer is $4.1 million. Considering that 100 howitzers are used in an operation, the monthly cost is $410 million.

65,000 dollars for a one-hour fighter jet flight

The cost for a one-hour flight of an F-16 fighter jet without ammunition is $25,000 and with ammunition $65,000. The most commonly used bomb is the MK-81 262 Libre, weighing 119 kilograms. Another model is the MK-82 500 Libre, which weighs 227 kilograms and costs $26,000. The widely used MK-83 1000 Libre bomb weighs 460 kilograms and the MK-84 2000 Libre weighs 930 kilograms. The bombs used in the F-16s cost $3,100 each. Laser-guided bombs cost $28,500 each. Bunker buster bombs cost $35,000 each.

Cost of helicopters

The cost of a one-hour flight of T-129 ATAK and Sikorsky helicopters is $10,000, according to Yeni Yaşam. Every day, 15 to 20 helicopters fly over the war zone. The cost of ammunition for one day is between 150,000 and 300,000 dollars.