By Ruslan Rehimov
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA) - Turkey wants to take a strong place in space, said the head of the Turkish Space Agency (TUA) on Saturday.
Speaking at a conference, titled Future in Space, Space in Future, held at Azerbaijan Technical University in the capital Baku, Serdar Huseyin Yildirim said: “Investment in space studies is not a luxury, but a need.”
The conference was organized by the Azerbaijani office of Turkey’s Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MUSIAD) in collaboration with Azerbaijani universities.
Yildirim said that Turkey is a bit late in space-related issues, but added that the country is currently moving fast and capable of solving the problems on the way.
“Our aim is to take a strong place in space,” said Yildirim, adding that this is for the interests of both Turkey and its fraternal countries.
“If you are not powerful in space, you can’t be powerful in the world,” he stressed.
Informing the conference that the preliminary design of the national space vehicle that will go to the moon has been completed, Yildirim said Turkey intends to send this two-ton vehicle to lunar orbit no later than 2024 in agreement with one of the international launch companies.
“Together with our own flag, we will take the flags of friendly and fraternal countries, primarily Azerbaijan, into space,” he said.
He also participated in a conference, titled The Space Age and the Turkish World, organized by the Caucasus Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (QAFSAM), at the Caspian University.
Speaking about the strategic importance of operating in space, Yildirim said: "The great powers once colonized some territories on the Earth. The same thing can happen in space.”
“Let's all work together in space. Let's not compete. When a union is formed, it will also serve world peace,” he proposed.
* Writing by Merve Berker