Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Kayseri’s place in defense and aviation sector discussed

21.03.2019 / Kayseri

Speaking at “The Place of Kayseri’s Industry in the Future of Aerospace and Defense Sector” meeting, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, noted that the defense industry turnover has reached $ 7 billion, “We as Kayseri, want to be a part of the process and contribute more to the defense industry of our country.”​

“The Place of Kayseri’s Industry in the Future of Aerospace and Defense Sector”, meeting was held at the Kayseri Chamber of Commerce Conference Hall with the participation of Hulusi Akar, Minister of National Defense, General Yaşar Güler, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, Kayseri Governor Şehmus Günaydın, Defense Industry President İsmail Demir, President of Kayseri Chamber of Industry and TOBB Board Member Mehmet Büyüksimitçi, Kayseri Chamber of Commerce President Ömer Gülsoy and sector representatives.

TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, emphasized the importance of the meeting for Kayseri in his speech. Hisarcıklıoğlu, who pointed out that Kayseri was a city without industry just 100 years ago, said, “In 1926, Kayseri took the first steps in industrialization with the Kayseri Tire Factory and the Bünyan Carpet Yarn Factory and Sümerbank Cloth Factory in 1935. Tank Repair and Maintenance, which was established in Kayseri, turned into a center in this area and became a veritable tank hospital. Thanks to the masters and entrepreneurs who grew up here, Kayseri launched a great breakthrough. It has become a brand city not only in trade but also in industry, tourism and education. Today, with 3 Organized Industrial Zones, a Free Zone and a Technology Development Zone, it has reached a position where we can all take pride in. We have an export volume with high added value of approximately 2.5 billion USD, almost all industrial products. Last year, exports increased by 7% in our country; Kayseri quadruped the average with 27%.”

- Investment industry turnover reached 7 billion USD

Expressing their desire to move forward with the industrialization story started with the Aircraft Plant through the defense industry, the TOBB President stated that ​​Turkey achieved considerable success in this field thanks to public and private sector collaboration. Stating that the defense industry’s external dependency ratio of 80% in 2002 has been reduced to 35% in 2018, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Our industry's turnover reached 7 billion USD in 2018. We have also advanced in global competition. Four of our companies have entered the list of the world's largest defense companies. Defense industry sector exports exceeded 2 billion USD in 2018. I am proud of the architects of the Defense Industry, the Defense Industry Presidency, the General Staff and our companies.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the public, alone, could not achieve all these achievements without the determination and diligence of the private sector, nor the private sector without the support of the public administration, “Of course, we will not be satisfied with this. Turkish defense industry has the potential to achieve much more than it has ever done in the areas of production, export and technology development. As Kayseri, we want to take part in this process and contribute more to the defense industry of our country.”

- Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar

National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in his speech, “A strong defense industry is not a choice, it is an obligation. We have to do it.”

Akar stated that a critical process has been carried out at the regional and global level, “There are various risks, dangers and threats to our country due to political and military conflicts around us. Against these, we must be ready to defend our noble nation's sovereignty and independence; our motherland.”

Minister Akar emphasized that his primary duties are the security of 780,000 square kilometers of homeland and 462,000 square kilometers of sea and stated that they work with determination and diligence.

Akar also touched upon the fight against terrorism, stating that in addition to the heroism and sacrifice of the personnel in this field, the advanced technology developed by the domestic and national defense industry also deserves recognition.

Akar pointed out that the defense industry is not only a matter of economy and recalled the problems in the field of defense industry in the past. Drawing attention to the fact that deals have been reneged upon by the seller despite exchanging hand for weapons and systems in the past, Akar said, “In 2011, maintenance of the engines of our UAVs were not conducted in violation of our agreement. 'Bad neighbor makes for new home owners,' and by activating our civilian-military, private-public facilities, we have reached this point. Today, our private, public companies are building UAVs and exporting them.”

Under the leadership of President Erdoğan, Akar stated that important steps were taken in the defense industry in terms of local and national production, and that the ratio of national production which was around 20% in 2002 is now around 70%.

- Kayseri Chamber of Commerce President Ömer Gülsoy

Kayseri Chamber of Commerce (KTO) President Ömer Gülsoy, in a statement after the “Place of Kayseri’s Industry in the Future of Aerospace and Defense Sector” panel, said, “We want to contribute more to the defense industry of our country.”

After the program, President Gülsoy stated that the business people of Kayseri in the hall were pleased and said, “I am proud and happy to have hosted such an important meeting on behalf of the Kayseri Chamber of Commerce. In order to leave a more prosperous Anatolia region, which is geopolitically and strategically important, to future generations, it is of great importance to be economically, culturally and politically strong. Moreover, it is imperative that we have powerful, efficient armed forces and therefore a strong defense industry. As pleasing as the progress we’ve made is, it is not good enough for us. We need new investments to progress. In this context, Kayseri is one of the prime cities which will contribute to the National Defense Industry initiated by our Government.

- Defense Industry President İsmail Demir

Defense Industry President İsmail Demir said in his speech that, “Defining the talents of the sector and in order to prevent repetition while making healthy and effective investments; making detailed and updated information of all sector companies in order to determine similar capabilities in different sectors within the framework of conflict-preparedness activities, the ‘Defense Industry Capability Inventory’ portal (YETEN) will be implement soon.

Demir, in his speech at the “Place of Kayseri’s Industry in the Future of Aerospace and Defense Sector” panel, they are working diligently to ensure that the development of the defense industry for the future of Turkey's independence and sovereignty; to ensure sustainability; to engender a broad ecosystem of conflict readiness; as well as continuing presence of a structure which exports goods.

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