President Erdogan announces Türkiye’s first space traveller candidates


By: Anadolu Agency

Türkiye’s air force pilot Alper Gezeravci will be sent to International Space Station, while Tuva Cihangir Atasever is selected as a reserve candidate, President Erdogan says in Teknofest.

Türkiye has selected Alper Gezeravci and Tuva Cihangir Atasever as the country’s first space travellers to be sent into space in the last quarter of this year, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced.

Speaking at the country’s major technology event Teknofest on Saturday, he said Gezeravci, a pilot in the Turkish Air Force, will be sent to the International Space Station, while Atasever, a system engineer in the Turkish missile producer Roketsan in the field of space launch systems, was chosen as the reserve candidate.

Türkiye established the Turkish Space Agency in 2018, and announced the country’s space program in 2019, as well as the crewed space mission.

Young people will carry Türkiye to the top league, and they will realize the country’s dream of full independence, Erdogan said, adding: “We have struggled a lot to establish a climate in our country where our young people can pursue their dreams without fear.”

“We broke the shackles of backwardness in Türkiye, we built the infrastructure of a great and powerful Türkiye,” he noted.

World’s number one event

He also said Türkiye became a hope for all oppressed people, noting: “We have shown that it is not the destiny of our nation to live by depending on others.”

On Teknofest, he said it is the world’s number one aviation and space event, and it became a brand in its field.

He stressed that the number of participants in the event has been increasing each year since 2018.

While the first edition of the event received 4,233 applications from competitors in 2018, this year, the figure reached 333 teams and 1 million people, he said.

Mentioning the country’s recent defence products, such as uncrewed fighter jet Kizilelma, the fifth generation warcraft TF-X, satellite IMECE, light warcraft and jet trainer Hurjet and Multirole Heavy Combat Helicopter ATAK-2, he said Teknofest is the symbol of all of these developments.

The five-day Teknofest, which started on Thursday, features several cutting-edge technology projects and defence products.

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