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Turkey launches space programme

Turkey has launched its own national space programme under a presidential decree that was published in the country's official gazette yesterday.

The country's Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said that the launch of the space agency will pave the way for an indigenous and competitive industry in which Turkey can develop its own strategies and policies regarding space technologies.

Speaking at the Turkish Defence Industry Summit at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Varank announced: "We formed the Turkish space agency in order to strengthen our aerospace industry, improve scientific infrastructure and human resources in the field of space technology and further boost our capacities and abilities."

According to the decree, the space agency will prepare and implement the national space programme in line with the policies decided upon by the president of Turkey.

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While the agency will have financial and administrative autonomy, it "will also pursue multilateral and bilateral cooperation with its international counterparts while protecting Turkey's rights at the United Nations."

In August, Varank guaranteed that the space station will be completed soon, emphasising that today by exclaiming that "our dream of 20 years has come true".

Varank stated that the opening of the space agency is part of Turkey's wider aim of becoming an independent player in the global defence industry rather than being dependent on others, emphasising that "our aim was not to become a subcontractor of international defence industry producers but to create a fully independent Turkish defence industry."

The space agency's establishment is a significant milestone in Turkey's technological development and international aims in fulfilment of its Vision 2023, and was also one of the projects in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 100-day action plan.

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