Turkey needs successful young people and their smarts to reach its goals, says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Groundbreaking innovations, from artificial intelligence (AI) to blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), will take root and grow at Teknofest, Turkey’s biggest aerospace and technology event, the nation’s president said on Saturday.
Teknofest is a place for young people who want to show their abilities in technological fields such as rockets, robotic, and aerospace, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed at the event, held in the southeastern metropolis of Gaziantep.
The four-day Teknofest festival, an annual event, started on Thursday and is set to end Sunday.
Technology’s most important capital is productive brains, and Turkey needs successful young people to reach its goals, he added.
After large crowds attended the first two Teknofests, this year the event is not accepting visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Support for young people
“No virus or threat can stop young people’s perseverance,” Erdogan also said.
He said around 20,000 teams and 100,000 young people from 84 countries applied to take part in Teknofest competitions this year.
Turkey will continue to back young people with its strong infrastructure, support, and platforms such as Teknofest, he stressed.
“We can’t say that everything is ideal, but we’re determined to support you,” said Erdogan, adding:
“We address shortcomings, correct mistakes, meet needs, and remove hurdles as long as you don’t stop making efforts to make your dreams come true.”
‘Tech a must, not an option’
He also said that while in decades past Turkey had no presence in aviation, now it is among the few countries in the world making UAVs.
“We will achieve similar successes in the production of automobiles and flying cars,”he added.
The world now is in a technological transition process, and technology isn’t an option, it’s a necessity, he said.
“More importantly, our experience shows us that we must make this transition with national and indigenous sources,” he added.
After his speech, along with young people Erdogan cut the ribbon on 30 new technology courses in several cities.
He also handed out awards to champion teams in Teknofest competitions in several areas.
This year’s third annual Teknofest featured competitions in around two dozen different categories, including biotechnology innovation, agriculture, environment and energy, transportation, education, helicopter design, and jet engine design.
Anadolu Agency has been the global communications partner of the event since 2018, including this year.
The annual event was originally set for April, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
Teknofest is held in the metropolis of Istanbul in odd years and in even years, in various Turkish cities.