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The Thrace 2nd Defense and Aviation Localization Summit was Held in Tekirdağ 30 May 2018

Organized with the collaboration of the Thrace Development Agency and the Technical Production and Export Support Association (TUDEP) and lasting two days, the Thrace 2nd Defence and Aviation Localization Summit ended in Tekirdağ.

Held in the Tekirdağ Namik Kemal University Rectorship Conference Hall, the event was attended by the Tekirdağ Deputy Governor Tayyar Şaşmaz, Thrace Development Agency Secretary-General Mahmut Şahin, Tekirdağ member of parliament Metin Akgün, Turkish Airlines (THY) Technical Inc. General Director Key Advisor Halil Tokel, Defense Industry Deputy Undersecretary Celal Sami Tüfekçi, industrial businessmen and citizens. Presenting a speech during the event, TRAKYAKA Secretary-General Mahmut Şahin stated: "We had held this summit in the month of May last year, and we are carrying out the second one this year. We will continue to carry out this summit, as we are clearly seeing the benefits and advantages. We have 6-7 firms in the defense industry and aviation sector in our region. Our goal is to increase this number to 100. When we increase the number of these firms to 100, firms carrying out 100-150 million dollars in operations for the defense industry, aviation and nuclear industry, will not only be providing products for Turkey, but other firms around the world. As the Thrace region, we are stating that we want to take part in this race. By 2023, we want our 100 firms to have reached the capacity of providing goods in the defense industry, aviation and nuclear sector. In this sense, 2018 will be the year of progress."

In the event which aims to provide support for Thrace firms to be more involved in areas of production which require R&D and technology, like the defense, aviation and space systems, ensuring the region's development in technological production with high added value, Tekirdağ member of parliament Metin Akgün extended his thanks to all who contributed to carrying out the summit, and expressed his wishes for the summit to bring forth beneficial results.

In his speech, Turkish Airlines (THY) Technic Inc. General Director Key Advisor Halil Tokel stated, "Turkey is at a crossroads, things that should have already been implemented are only just coming to the fore. Our Delegate mentioned something before this meeting. 'Why is it that we are so behind in the development of the defense industry? Why haven't the operations, the manufacturing, the R&Ds that should have taken place in the 60s and 70s been completed yet?' This is quite an important and valuable question. As a community, as Turkey, this is a matter which calls for self-criticism. It is the year 2017, and the point which Turkey has reached in the defense industry is unacceptably insufficient. There is a 90-year time period that we have spent with the history of the Republic. We must apply some self-criticism to this period. We were not able to take advantage of this period, this is quite obvious; but we will surely be doing so from now on. At the moment, in our Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, we are observing that there are extremely efficient and intensive operations being carried out."

Following the speeches, members of protocol perused the booth area and obtained information about the products and operations of all the firms.

Throughout the two-day event, representatives of firms such as Aselsan, Havelsan, and Roketsan informed attendees about the point which Turkey has reached in the defense and aviation industry and about their projects. It was emphasized that the equipment necessary for machinery and equipment manufacturing required by the defense and aviation industry in the Thrace Region was available and that the region was in an advantageous position in this sense.

However, it was emphasized that the fact that firms manufacturing raw material for the defense and aviation industry are clustered mainly in Ankara and Kırklareli, presents a disadvantage.

"The Thrace 2nd Defense Aviation and Space Systems Sub-Industry Localization Summit and Exhibition" ended with a group photo of all attendees.