Akıncı Air Base should be part of space, aviation industry center: Association
Aysel Alp – ANKARA
DHA photoThe head of the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) has said that part of the Akıncı Air Base in the capital should be affiliated with the air and aviation industries center in the region, while adding the remaining part of the base could become a “democracy park” in line with a plan previously proposed by officials.
A plan to create the Ankara Organized Industrial Zone Specialized on Space and Aviation was launched in 2011 by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was Turkey’s prime minister at the time, and the ASO was one of the main partners of the project.
“We bought 300 hectares of land from the Treasury and will buy 400 more from private persons. We will then neighbor with Turkish Aerospace Industries [TAİ], one of Turkey’s leading defense companies, on one side, and the Akıncı Air Base on the other after the construction of the zone is completed. It would be great if officials give a part of the Akıncı Air Base with its runway and we can enlarge the zone so as to include TAİ,” said ASO President Nurettin Özdebir, who added that the remaining part of the military base could become a democracy park.
Defense Minister Fikri Işık had earlier said the government aimed to relocate a number of troops in Istanbul and Ankara by mid-September, adding that the Akıncı Air Base would be opened to the public as a “democracy park.”
The Akıncı Air Base was used as the center of the failed coup attempt on the night of July 15, which was blamed on the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and force commanders were taken to the base and held captive by pro-coup soldiers. However, they were all later freed in a special forces operation in the early hours of July 16.
Özdebir also noted they would share their offers with top officials from the Defense Industry Undersecretary (SSM), one of the partners of the planned zone, adding that the Akıncı Air Base could be used as a platform to test products which will be developed in the zone.
He also noted that while some five years had passed, due to the overloaded civil service procedures they were not able to start building this key industrial zone, which aimed to support local space and aviation industries, enabling local and foreign companies to work together and create products with high quality.
“We have just achieved building a regional directorate in the zone,” he said, adding that the government needed to be informed about how to stimulate investors in an efficient way.