Premier Turkish tech event TEKNOFEST kicks off in Istanbul

6-day festival hosts activities such as seminars, competitions at Ataturk Airport this year as 2020 in shadow of COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Turkish tech event TEKNOFEST kicks off in Istanbul

Turkey's biggest aerospace and technology festival TEKNOFEST has kicked off in Istanbul on Tuesday.

The six-day event at the Ataturk Airport will host activities, such as air shows with warplanes, unmanned aerial vehicles, and helicopters; seminars, summits, competitions, and fairs.

The 2021 edition of the festival will feature technology competitions in dozens of different categories such as smart transportation, helicopter design, biotechnology, robotics, flying cars, rockets, and unmanned underwater systems.

Selcuk Bayraktar, the chairman of the event's organizer, Turkish Technology Team Foundation, said new ideas and new inventions that move the world forward come from start-ups and young people.

"Thus, we must enlarge our start-ups much more and support them," he said.

Today, leading global media outlets speak about Turkish start-ups, he underlined.

Bayraktar added that avoiding being condemned to a world constructed by savage capitalist technology monopolies, Turkey must make its own transformation.

Calling out to the youth, he said don't let the obstacles that come your way discourage you, advising be original in everything you do.

Mustafa Varank, Turkish industry and technology minister, said the interest in the event has been increasing year by year.

Touching on Turkey's cutting-edge defense and technology products showcasing in the event, such as helicopter Gokbey and armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Aksungur, the minister noted that Turkey should be a production center of the event critical technologies instead of a consumer.

Mentioning flying cars, he said the size of the flying car market will reach $320 billion until 2030.

Varank said just as the foreign press is talking about Turkey's UAV success, they will write about the country's success in autonomous vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles and flying cars in the coming years.

Turkey's leading defense firm Baykar has introduced its flying car prototype, named Cezeri, in TEKNOFEST's 2019 edition.

Rashad Nabiyev, the Azerbaijani minister of transport, communications and high Technologies, also gave a speech during the opening ceremony and hailed the festival.

TEKNOFEST, organized by the Turkish Technology Team Foundation (T3 Foundation) and Turkey's Industry and Technology Ministry, is held in various Turkish cities in even years and the metropolis of Istanbul in odd years.

Last year, the event was organized virtually in the country's southern Gaziantep province due to the pandemic measures.

In 2019, some 1.72 million people visited the event in Istanbul.

Anadolu Agency has been the global communication partner of the event since 2018.