Opposition candidate vows to turn former airport into space center

Opposition candidate vows to turn former airport into space center

Opposition candidate vows to turn former airport into space center

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the six-party Nation Alliance’s joint presidential candidate, has promised to turn the former Istanbul airport into an aerospace studies center where Turkish scientists and entrepreneurs will find all the infrastructure and opportunities for developing Türkiye’s space industry.

Kılıçdaroğlu, who is also the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), recalled the importance of Atatürk Airport, which has not been operational after the construction of the massive Istanbul Airport, in a video message he released late on April 27.

“Atatürk Airport, formerly Yeşilköy Airport, has a very important place in the history of aviation. Yeşilköy’s roots go back to the flying school established in 1911-12. The pioneers of Turkish aviation and many heroes of the Turkish Independence War had been raised in this school,” Kılıçdaroğlu recalled.

The same area is also where the Turkish Air Forces has its historically important facilities and headquarters, the presidential candidate said.

“They [the government] have disrupted the runways [of the airport]. But they use one runway for their own purposes,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, stressing he will change the fate of this venue when he comes to power in May polls.

“In line with [modern Türkiye founder Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk’s vision, we will turn Atatürk Airport into a center of aeronautical and aerospace studies right after coming to power. This center, to be named after Atatürk, will become the engine of our aeronautical and space industry,” he stated.

Kılıçdaroğlu informed that this project will be carried out with the participation of two Turkish entrepreneurs, Fatih Özmen and Eren Özmen, who own the Sierra Nevada Company (SNC) in the United States, operating in the field of aviation and space.

“Those who are eager with space studies know well. The SNC, under the leadership of the Özmen family, is a multibillion-dollar worth company producing critical equipment and delivering services to NASA’s most important projects,” he said.

“You see, the Americans are benefiting from our brains in such a way. I have spoken with them [the Özmen family] and invited them to realize this project [in Istanbul]. We will develop our own shuttles,” the candidate maintained.

Turkey, Elections, Opposition ,