Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented the first Turkish astronauts as part of a mission to the International Space Station at the end of 2023.
This came during his visit to the Technofest Festival for Aviation and Space Technology, which kicked off on Thursday in Istanbul.
In his speech, he mentioned that Ankara announced two years ago the goals of the Turkish space program, which will move it to the ranks of the leading countries in the global space race during 2021.
He stressed that his country is taking another important step today towards achieving the goals.
Erdogan explained that the first Turkish astronaut will carry out his mission at the International Space Station for 14 days.
He indicated that the reserve astronaut will enhance his training through a sub-orbital flight.
He continued, “It is scheduled that the date of our astronaut’s launch into space will be in the last quarter of 2023.”
And he indicated that “Alber Guzer Oji”, who will launch to the International Space Station, is “a heroic pilot who achieved important successes in leading the Turkish Armed Forces.”
As for the reserve astronaut, “Tova Cihangir Atasefer,” Erdogan explained that he is a systems engineer working in the field of space launch systems in the Turkish company “Roketsan” for defense industries.
The president continued, “In this mission, the astronaut will carry out 13 different experiments prepared by universities and valuable research institutions in Turkey.”
And he indicated that he sees the future in the Technofest festival for astronauts, inventors, pilots, engineers and physicists.
Erdogan expressed his happiness at being with the participants in Technofest, which he described as the number one festival in the world for aviation and space technology.
He thanked his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, his wife, Mihriban Aliyeva, and the Libyan Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dabaiba, for their participation in the festival.
He pointed to the great turnout for participation in the festival, which was held for the first time in 2018.
Erdogan explained that the number of requests to participate in the festival during 2018 was 4,333.
And he added, “We received requests from one million people among 333,000 teams from 81 Turkish states and 96 countries to participate in this year’s Technofest Festival.”
He revealed that the value of the prizes and support that the festival monitored amounted to 44 million Turkish liras (one dollar equals about 19.4 liras), after it was 4 million Turkish liras in 2018.
And he indicated that he met young people interested in technology, defense industries, and science during the Technofest Festival, which turned into a brand.
Erdogan thanked the Turkish technology team, ministries and all institutions for their efforts in organizing the festival.
On Thursday, the activities of the seventh edition of the Technofest Festival, which is the largest of its kind in the world, kicked off on the grounds of Ataturk Airport, under the supervision of the “Turkish Technology Team Endowment” and in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
Technofist is an important way in Turkey to discover the talents of the participating youth to showcase their technological innovations such as missiles and robots, with the support of government institutions.