Yunus Emre Enstitüsü

TEKNOFEST-An Airy Festival in İstanbul

Written by Bilge Demirağ

As well as being one of the foremost metropols of the world, Istanbul is among the modern cities by its own historical accumulation and texture. In essence, Istanbul has the characteristics of an outdoor museum; the graceful artefacts like the magnificent mansions on the coast of Bosphorus, Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula, Sultanahmet Mosque enrich the silhouette of Istanbul .
While living with its historic texture, Istanbul does not live in history, it rather changes and develops by integrating the modern world. People of Istanbul go through this change directly in the economic and cultural life. As a matter of fact, Istanbul is the heart of Turkey, which means the changes and developments in Istanbul reflects to all the cities of Anatolia. The first innovations in the world come into Turkey from Istanbul and spread from the Bosporus in waves. However, Istanbul, accordingly Turkey has innovative reflexes. Such that, by means of the dynamism of the thinking and producing young scientists, it hosts technological changes, as well.
Turkey is now trying to establish its own national security industry and for this work, invests in research and development by establishing modern facilities. Turkey that produces technologies and develops humane technology policies by having universal brands calls for universal scientists by its universities, nongovernmental organizations and research centers. One of the most important nongovernmental organizations that works on the space and technological change and the transformation of Turkey, the Technology Team Foundation of Turkey gives a great support to talented young people to develop technologies, as well as to the ones who want to take part in scientific studies and to develop entrepreneurship culture. The foundation carries out projects on two main fields.
The main fields of work of the foundation are technical trainings and workshop activities for potent youth of secondary school, high school and university and forming and supporting teams for project contests and hackathons.
Founders of the Technology Team Foundation of Turkey of which the Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees is undertaken by Selçuk Bayraktar who is the Technical Manager of the Baykar Company which developed the first national unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of Turkey, the Chairmanship of the Executive Board is undertaken by the entrepreneur Mehmet Fatih Kacır, are composed of mostly engineers. Among the founders of the foundation, as well as the engineers like Aykut Fırat and Nizamettin Ordulu who are the graduates of MIT which is accepted as the best engineering university of the world, the General Director of Baykar Haluk Bayraktar and the second place holder of the International EU Contest for Young Scientists, in 2004, Mehmet Halit Calayır.

In one of his interview, The Technical Manager of the Baykar Company and manager of the Technology Team Foundation of Turkey Selçuk Bayraktar says: “Among the countries that gave importance to aviation and conducted aviation works, while our country is one of the first departers and while it could have been one of the world giants today, we unfortunately see that our country is not in its deserved place about space and aviation that can be accepted as the main engine of the technology. However, when we look at our history we are among the first civilizations that gave importance to the space and observed the space.” He followed as:
In the world today, the contests on many different science fields reveal the initiatives that accelerate technological developments and produce the most advanced technological outputs. We, as well, believe that the technology contests that we will organize within TEKNOFEST that the youth from different ages can participate will contribute to our country’s progress in the fields of aviation, space and technology.

Now, we have produced the tactical unmanned aerial vehicles that we can say the best in its category. After that, if God permits, we keep working on developing the unmanned aerial vehicle that weighs 4.5 tones and has the load-carrying capacity of 1.5 tones that we can say the best of the world in its category. We are thinking of starting the works of the unmanned jet soon.”
It was held between 20-23 September 2018 at the Istanbul Airport under the leadership of Selçuk Bayraktar and the Technology Foundation of Turkey. The festival, no doubt, provided the young talents of Turkey an opportunity to exhibit their works on aviation and space.
In fact, it was also remarkable that T 19-A plane that has been produced for sportive amateur aviation and shown as one of the best planes in its category was exhibited in the Festival.

The range of the plane which is salient in the Festival is 1500 km and it reaches the speed of 340 km per hour. The oil consumption is 8.1 liter in 100 kilometers and 120 meters of airfield is enough for landing.
Meanwhile, design awarded the new Digital Handheld Radio of ASELSAN 3700 was one of the eye catchers of the visitors in the festival. It is known that 3700 Handheld Radio is designed especially for the frequently voice using public security officers. The radio can work with VHF and UHF, and support different communication protocols. It draws attentions with its GPS location service, Bluetooth, USB, color screen, vibration and smart charging.
It was, of course, important that the Aviation, Space and Technology Festival of Turkey gave the opportunity to the young scientists in the aviation sector to have their first experience. By the technology contests held in 12 different categories, including rocket, autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, UAV, young people were supported to develop and produce their own projects. Seeing that the contests that were held under the leadership of the Technology Team Foundation of Turkey were supported by the informatics giants of Turkey became undoubtedly very promising for the youth:

Among these supporters, there are ASELSAN, Baykar, BMC, HAVELSAN, ROKETSAN, TAİ, TÜBİTAK and TÜRKSAT. The names of the contests and their stakeholders were ASELSAN, Unmanned Land Vehicle supported by UAV, Unmanned Underwater Systems and Robotic Conquest 1453; Baykar, Fighting UAV, Troop UAV; Baykar and TAİ Artificial Intelligence; İGA, Model Airplane; İSBAK, Robotaxi and Technology for Humanity; Roketsan, Rocket; TÜBİTAK, UAV and Türksat, Model.
As to another remarkable aspect of the Festival, it was undoubtedly the hosting of the Istanbul Airport an international organization just before its opening. It is seen that behind this majestic edifice that will be opened on the last days of October, that means 29 October 2018, there is of course technological background, as well. The Istanbul Airport, that is going to be one of the exceptional airports of the world when it comes into service, will contribute an exclusive value to Istanbul which is the science, culture and economy capital of Turkey.

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Bilge Demirağ

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