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Military demands Turkish space agency

General NewsChief of Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok yesterday said that they prepared a draft law stipulating the establishment of a Turkish space agency, Anatolia news agency reported.

Addressing a conference named, \"SPACEAN 2003 International Space Technologies Fair and Conference\", held at Middle East Technical University in Ankara on Tuesday, Ozkok said that space studies provided a new dimension to aviation, emphasizing that the Turkish Armed Forces attached great importance to space research as of 2000.

Ozkok informed that the General Staff ordered Turkish Air Forces Command to prepare a \'space concept\' to determine the outline of the system restructuring pertaining to the space works. He added that a \'Space Agency\' should be set up to coordinate the works pertaining to space.

Stressing that Turkish Air Forces are responsible for coordinating these studies at present, Ozkok noted that the draft law on the space agency was concluded. He underlined that the draft would be presented to the Defense Ministry as soon as possible.

Delivering a speech at the same conference, Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said the government was determined to continue supporting the ongoing space research.

Yildirim noted that space technology was used in many fields varying from communications to agriculture, adding that Turkey\'s space research was insufficient.

Yildirim said the space agency would support not only industry but also the education institutions as well, underlining that the country should also cooperate with international corporations, such as the European Space Agency.

SPACEAN 2003 International Space Technologies Fair and Conference will end on May 8.


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