Ankara recently hosted its Turkey-Italy Innovation Day event where space cooperation between the two countries was highlighted by senior officials and corporate executives. Among the agenda items of the event was a common desire to increase space cooperation and satellite development between the two countries.
Lokman Kuzu, director of the Space Technologies Research Institute at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK UZAY), told Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency that, “Turks and Italians have a great deal in common: shared history, similar characteristics, food…”
These cultural affinities, according to Kuzu, makes Italy a much more suitable space partner for Turkey than major space powers such as China, Russia, and the United States.
Kuzu added that Italy has assisted Turkish engineers on four satellite projects to date, most notably on the Göktürk-1 and Göktürk-2 reconnaissance satellites that had Italian companies Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space actively involved in their development and manufacture. Kuzu added that the Turkish space sector would like to build on these collaborations and jointly develop larger space and satellite projects with Italy.
“The Turkish space sector isn’t as big as its rivals around the world, but Turkish space engineers are quite talented,” Kuzu said, indicating that despite its relatively small space sector Turkey has much to contribute to any space and satellite cooperation with Italy.
Anilkumar Dave, chief of the Innovation and Technology Unit at the Italian Space Agency (ASI), told the Anadolu Agency that, “Turkey is good at building bridges, and so is Italy, we know how to connect with others,” and that therefore space cooperation between the two countries offers yet another bridge that connects them.
Dave added that Italy sees space cooperation with Turkey as being strategically important, and that creating self-sufficient yet interconnected space industry and research ecosystems is necessary for thriving in the rapidly evolving global space industry and sector.