Cementing links, Turkey, Azerbaijan to cooperate on space, tech

Cementing links, Turkey, Azerbaijan to cooperate on space, tech
Cementing links, Turkey, Azerbaijan to cooperate on space, tech

Ankara and Baku are due to further strengthen their links and will sign several agreements that will cover space, tech and industry areas, a Turkish official said Friday.

The deals will be signed on the sidelines of the Teknofest Azerbaijan, the first foreign edition of the leading Turkish aviation, space and technology festival, which is underway in Baku.

“Here, we are bringing together young people, technology developers and companies to further develop our countries and, at the same time, we will become a very different power in the regional sense,” Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said.

The national flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan, as well as attack helicopters and planes, started flying over Baku on Thursday, with throngs of visitors flocking to Teknofest Azerbaijan, which lasts through Sunday.

The expansion of the event to neighboring Azerbaijan marks the latest example of the close links between the two nations and their determination to strengthen partnerships and develop advanced technologies.

Last year saw Azerbaijan take part in the festival for the first time with 11 local companies and startups.

The Akıncı drone, manufactured by Turkey’s Baykar, is presented during the aerospace and technology festival Teknofest, in the capital Baku, Azerbaijan, May 27, 2022. (AFP Photo)

Varank said Turkey and Azerbaijan have deep economic links that also include bilateral investments.

“Within the scope of this visit, we will sign different agreements,” he noted.

“One of them is an agreement in which we will mutually improve the capabilities of SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises). We will also sign an agreement between the Turkish Space Agency and the Azerbaijan Space Agency that will enable us to act together, especially in the field of satellites. In addition, we will sign a deal that will enable us to act together in the field of technology and industry,” Varank added.

“With these agreements, we will have developed our mutual relations even further. We will further strengthen the economic ties of the two countries. In addition, we want to establish a technopark mutually. We want to support our companies together in the technopark.”

Turkish and Azerbaijani companies and entrepreneurs are showcasing their products and technical solutions at the Teknofeset.

Aviation and tech enthusiasts in Azerbaijan’s capital are having a chance to examine the latest homegrown equipment, vehicles and civil and military aviation technologies. They are also witnessing a range of activities, from air shows with warplanes to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and helicopters, to summits, competitions and fairs.

First held in 2018, Teknofest has been held in various Turkish cities in even years and in the metropolis of Istanbul in odd years.

The event will feature 10 technology competitions in different fields such as rockets, agriculture and unmanned aerial vehicles.

On the entertainment side, the festival included aerobatic flight shows from the Azerbaijani Air Force, the Turkish Air Force Turkish Stars and Solo Türk, a vertical wind tunnel, water attractions, flight simulators and robots.

Some 5,000 competitors in a total of 1,000 teams applied to the competitions organized as part of the event, while over 250 of the 1,000 teams that applied made it to the finals.

A total of 32 countries, including Germany, the U.S., Ireland, Pakistan, Egypt, Argentina, Turkey, Azerbaijan and other European countries, attended the Take Off Baku, an initiative summit held in Baku Crystal Hall as part of Teknofest Azerbaijan.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also expected to arrive in Baku on Saturday and visit the venue with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

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