TEKNOFEST, one of Turkey’s most important technological events, has come to an end. The President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave a speech at the festival, which hosted a number of events including contests, flying displays, workshops, and exhibitions, and presented the festival’s winners with awards.
The TEKNOFEST Istanbul Aerospace and Technology Festival, Turkey’s largest technology event, was organized for the first time last year and attracted more than 500,000 visitors. The organizers of this year’s TEKNOFEST were expecting more than 1 million visitors. However, the actual number of visitors far exceeded this -1 million 720,000 people visited the festival.
TEKNOFEST was designed to create an awareness of technology and science in society, as well as to support training the necessary talent in science and engineering in Turkey. Technological competitions in 19 different categories were organized to support young people working in future technology. At the stands belonging to the Turkey Technology Foundation (T3), young visitors could participate in the workshops under the following titles: Meteorite, I am Coding My Robot, I am Designing My Rocket, Funny Robotics, Aviation and Space, Nanotechnology, and Energy Technologies, Electronic Programming, Mobile Apps.. At the same time, competitions were held in other areas. The total value of prizes awarded was more than 3 million TL, and awards were given in over 38 different categories. Nineteen competitors won prizes and received their awards from the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
In his speech, President Erdoğan said, “Last year, 4,200 teams in 16 different areas participated; there were 20,000 competitors and 2,500 finalists at TEKNOFEST. This year, there are 19 different fields, and six new competitions; there are approximately 17,4000 teams, 50,000 competitors and 10,000 finalists. Competitors from each of our 81 provinces and competitors from 122 countries participated -this year’s TEKNOFEST is record-breaking. I believe that in a short space of time this event will become one of the most important contributions to technology in Turkey.” The president not only spoke of the success of the festival, but emphasized the transformative process of technology, indicating the necessity of technological producers, rather than new technological markets. “We have set on this path for this reason. Not to be a market, but to be producers... We proceed with passion. It is for this reason that we will increase our global competitive power, our economic and technological independence in leading value-added production, and it is for this reason that we will make leaps in critical technology.”
One of the events which attracted interest from everyone, young and old, was the World Drone Cup final, organized by the Drone Racers Sports Club Association. Sixty-four drone pilots from 37 countries participated and, of course, it was a breathtaking sight. Not only visitors to the festival but residents of the neighborhoods near the airport watched the Solo Türk, Türk Yıldızları (Turkish Stars) air shows, and Turkish Air Forces parachute jumps; the Russian Air Forces’ acrobatic demonstration team “The Russian Knights”; the Russian firefighting plane Be-200ES; the Russian SU-35 fighter jet; a demonstration of the MC-21 passenger plane; and Red Bull demonstration flights.
Visitors examined the local and national vehicles and were able to participate in driving simulations.
Aircraft and land vehicles that have been produced with local means and know-how were on display at the exhibition area of TEKNOFEST alongside aircraft made abroad. The first Turkish-made helicopter ATAK and the training jet HÜRJET were on display with 38 other aircraft. Visitors could examine the Turkish Air Forces’ A400 M plane; the C160 military transport plane; the new Turkish Army’s CH-47 and Sikorsky helicopters; F4 2020 fighter jets; KT1 and T38 training planes; the Coast Guards’ CN-235 MSA aircraft; and helicopters belonging to the gendarmerie and the police. In addition, for the first time, visitors could examine the prototypes of the National Combat Plane; the Bayraktar Akıncı (Raider) Attack UAV; Cezeri , the national “flying car”; and the TF-X National Combat Plane developed by TUSAŞ.
In the land vehicle section, nine vehicles were on display, including the BMC AMAZON UKS-OTONOM and ALTAY tanks, which protect travelers from mines, ballistics or homemade explosives, and the KIPRI armored ambulance vehicle. Participants had an opportunity to inspect vehicles produced in Turkey up close –they were even able to go inside them- and many photos to commemorate the day were taken. The exhibition featured the KIPRI, which can withstand a mine blast; the bomb disposal robots Ertuğrul and Kaplan; the multi-engine UAV Serçe; the Altay tank; special operations vehicles; underwater search and rescue team vehicles; tactical wheeled vehicles; and Turkish designed driverless electric cars.
TEKNOFEST, which set out with the slogan “National Technology Drive,” aims to transform Turkey into a country that produces technology. A vertical wind tunnel, the Gökbilim Planetarium, and the Science Campaign Planetarium were also present at TEKNOFEST. Visitors were also entertained by concerts.