© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Turkish defence industries have significantly improved their production capabilities since the 1980s. According to the official documents, Turkey reached 54% local production level in 2011. Encouraged by this impressive defence industrial development, the government of Turkey declared that defence industrial autarky, the country’s main goal since the 1980s, would be reached by 2023. This paper evaluates the possibility of Turkey’s defence autarky. Contrary to the existing approaches in the literature that assess technological capabilities and cost-effectiveness, this paper argues that Turkey’s search for defence autarky is hindered by the interplay of institutional deficiencies, dependency on foreign inputs, and the United States’ continuing influence over Turkish politics.