Turkish drones protecting skies of nearly 40 countries, says minister

by Anadolu Agency


Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are being used to safeguard the skies of nearly 40 countries, Türkiye’s Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacir has said.

“Türkiye ranks first in the world in UAVs. The skies of nearly 40 countries are protected by Turkish UAVs,” Kacir told Anadolu at the Sarajevo Business Forum in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He noted that the Turkish defense industry’s localization rate has increased from just 20% to over 80%.

There are 3,500 companies and nearly 80,000 qualified employees in the defense sector, he said.

Kacir added that technology is valuable as long as it is used for the benefit of humanity and the breakthrough in the defense industry shares a “civilization perspective.”

Referring to Türkiye’s role in the search and rescue mission for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage, Kacir said: “We evaluated our friend and neighbor Iran’s needs from the same civilizational perspective and took an approach of sharing our opportunities with friends and brothers.”

“Nearly 5 million people followed this event live that night thanks to Anadolu as it covered the search mission with the entire world from minute one,” he added.

Turkish UAV Akinci took part in the search and rescue efforts and found the wreckage of the helicopter that was carrying President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

“On the request from Iran, a Bayraktar Akinci UAV from the Turkish Armed Forces fleet, traveled to the area. It overcame very challenging steep geography under extreme foggy and cloudy weather conditions to spot the helicopter in just one and a half hours,” the technology minister said.

He wished God’s mercy on the Iranian president and his delegation, who lost their lives in the accident.

President Raisi was returning from the inauguration ceremony for a dam on the Iran-Azerbaijan border last Sunday when his helicopter crashed.

Iranian state television initially reported that Raisi’s helicopter had made a hard landing while returning from the region. Tehran’s op diplomat Amir-Abdollahian, the governor of East Azerbaijan Province Malik Rahmeti, and Imam Ayatollah Ali Hashim of Tabriz province were also on board.

Iran later confirmed that the chopper had crashed in a remote area, killing all nine passengers and crew.

– Europe’s leading country in industry, technology

The minister said Türkiye meets its own defense needs using domestic and national products.

“Today, Türkiye is Europe’s leading country in both industry and technology. It is Europe’s largest producer of power and the leader in multiple sectors ranging from commercial vehicle, flat glass, solar panels, iron and steel to cement and white goods,” he added.

Regarding Türkiye’s largest aviation, space, and technology festival, Teknofest, Kacir said they place a lot of importance on the participation of young people from the Balkans in the festival.

“Teknofest has turned into Türkiye’s startup factory. Last year, 1 million competitors participated with 337,000 teams,” he said.

There were participants from nearly 100 countries and Türkiye expects an increase in participation from the Balkan countries, Kacir noted.

The Turkish technology minister also added that they can organize similar events in Bosnia and Herzegovina to help them participate in the technology development process in the region more effectively.

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