Friday, March 12, 2010
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
As Turkey's defense industry grows, Teknopark Istanbul, a new research and development base, aims to become one of the best in Europe
. Speaking at a signing ceremony in Istanbul on Friday, Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül says Teknopark will help attract more foreign investment to Turkey
A new “technopark” will put Turkey on the map in the defense, space, aviation and nanotech industries
, Turkey’s defense minister said during a ceremony Friday in Istanbul.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül said the “Teknopark” will be one of the best research and development bases in Europe.
At present, there are 37 technology development areas in Turkey, but only 23 of them are active. “There are more than 1,200 active companies in these areas, while more than 12,000 people have jobs there,” Gönül said. “About $600 million in export volume comes from them.”
Teknopark Istanbul is a High Technology and Industry Park, or İTEP, project.
Noting that the technopark will be situated at the center of important transportation facilities in the Asian neighborhood of Kurtköy, Gönül said the new hub will help attract more foreign investment to Turkey with its 250-hectare site. “Teknopark Istanbul will become a center for research and development companies.”
Teknopark Istanbul will be based on the defense industry as Turkey aims to become more self-reliant in producing its own weaponry.
Creating new jobs
Speaking at the ceremony, Murat Yalçıntaş, chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, said Teknopark Istanbul will host more than 1,000 companies, creating more than 30,000 jobs. “The total local added value, which will be created by this techno park, is estimated at $10 billion,” he said.
The founding capital of the company responsible for managing the new technopark is 1 million Turkish Liras, he said, adding that companies can begin moving into the facilities at the beginning of next year.
Yalçıntaş said the facility will be different from other technoparks in Turkey. “This one foresees a partnership of universities, the private sector and the public sector.”
He said an “exclusive fund” will be created to help small- and medium-sized enterprises and new entrepreneurs. “We will have training programs for students.”
Currently, 80 companies have applied to procure a spot at the technopark. “We are also waiting for international investors,” said Murat Bayar, the undersecretariat of defense.
The Undersecretariat of Defense, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Istanbul Trade University, the Airport Management and Aviation Institute and the Defense Technologies Engineering and Trade Corporation were present at Friday’s signing ceremony.