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Turkey eyes spot as major space economy

Turkey close to securing agreements with Pakistan, Azerbaijan on civilian space industry, says technology minister

Turkey’s newly unveiled National Space Program will raise the country above its current capabilities and make it an important player in the space economy, a senior official said on Wednesday.

“Turkey will enhance its value-added economy thanks to the program,” Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank told Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk in the capital Ankara.

On Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled the program, a roadmap which he said was based on realistic and competitive goals.

The program was prepared and will be carried out by the Turkish Space Agency (TUA), outlining Turkey’s 10-year vision, strategies, objectives, and projects on space policy.

Set out in the first 100-day action plan unveiled after the Justice and Development (AK) Party’s electoral victory in June, TUA was established in December 2018 with a presidential decree.

Noting the country’s success in the defense industry, Varank said the initiative would help Turkey secure experience in space for the technology it has developed.

“The program will pave the way for Turkey to become an important power in the field of space economy,” Varank said.

The program will both make Turkey a country that has much more value-added production, and make its citizens proud, he underlined.

Varank added that the program aims to send a Turkish citizen to space as part of a scientific mission and said: “Our President hopes to see a woman astronaut go into space. We’ll ensure that our most suited citizen fulfills the mission there.”

Noting that the use of space for civilian purposes would require international cooperation, the minister said Turkey is at the signing stage of agreements with Pakistan and Azerbaijan on its space agency.

“We are in talks with the US, Russia, Japan, India, and China on bilateral cooperation,” he added.

Anadolu Agency

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