President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lauds the country's first aerospace and technology festival and achievements made in the defence industry.
Turkey is using 65 percent Turkish products in its defence operations, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday at an event at Istanbul's new airport, which is due to officially open next month.
Speaking at 'Teknofest Istanbul', the first aerospace and technology exhibition, Erdogan said Turkey would have faced enormous challenges during operations in home and abroad "if we had not reached this level” in the defence industry.
Turkey is now meeting "65 percent of its defence industry needs," Erdogan said.
He also said the achievement was only possible by transforming Turkey into a tech-producing country.
Not just a user
"As long as we remain only a user of technology, we cannot guarantee our freedom in any area," Erdogan said.
The first condition of real freedom, said Erdogan, comes from designing, producing and exporting technology.
The four-day Teknofest Istanbul, organised by the Turkey Technology Team Foundation (T3) and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, aims to promote and showcase Turkey's rapid technological advancements.
Teknofest, which opened on Thursday, features air shows, aviation demonstrations, technology competitions, seminars on cutting-edge technology, and an international entrepreneurship summit, along with other activities.
During the festival, leading Turkish defence and technology firms and institutions such as Aselsan, Baykar, IGA, Isbak, Roketsan, TAI, Turkish Airlines, TUBITAK and TURKSAT will hold contests in dozens of different categories.