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28th Ordinary General Assembly Meeting of the Defense and Aerospace Manufacturers Association

The Defense and Aerospace Industry Manufacturers Association’s (SaSaD) 28th Ordinary General Assembly Meeting was held in Ankara

Minister of National Defense Mr. Fikri Işık, Undersecretary for Defense Industries Prof. İsmail Demir, Chairman of the Board of the Defense and Aerospace Exporters’ Association Mr. Latif Aral Aliş, TAFF (Turkish Armed Forces Foundation) General Manager Lieutenant General (Retired) Mr. Orhan Akbaş, military officials and SaSaD members attended the meeting.

Mr. Selçuk Yaşar: “The funds Turkey allocated to defense in 2016 was 1.69% of the GDP. We would like this percentage to be revised in the upcoming period.”

At the first session of the meeting, the Chairman of the Board of SaSaD made an opening speech. SaSaD Chairman Mr. Selçuk Yaşar: “The resources Turkey allocates to defense decreases each year. While it was 2.06% of the GDP in 2009, in 2016 it regressed to 1.69% of the GDP, yet in Europe it is in the level of 2.4% of the GDP. This percentage needs to be increased again due to the threats we perceive in our region and the geography in which our country is located. We wish for this to be re-evaluated. Where Turkey used to achieve a defense turnover at the level of $ 5 billion according to the data of 2015, the foreign export revenue reached $1.655 billion once again according to data of 2015. In light of these figures, Turkey ranks 12th amongst the world’s top 15 exporter countries.”

Following Secretary General Mr. Hüseyin Baysak’s briefing on the 2016 working report and financial statement, the report of the Supervisory Board was read and the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board were acquitted. After the negotiations on the Working Plan for 2017 May - 2018 April Period and the Annual Budget Plan and following its ratification, the meeting was recessed.

In the second session of the meeting in which the members of the protocol also participated, the Minister of National Defense took the floor following the speech of SaSaD Chairman Mr. Selçuk Yaşar and made assessments on the current status of the defense and aerospace industry, the geography surrounding Turkey, the risks and near future issues. Minister of National Defense Mr. Fikri Işık stated “We achieved a fourfold increase in the Defense and Security budget  within 14 years. I can claim that there is a strong will toward increasing these defense budget. We do not have a resource problem here, but there are problems in the effective and efficient utilization of resources. We are monitoring an increase in the quality of the products manufactured by the Turkish Defense Industry. The off-set participation at the level of 24% in national programs now has reached up to 60%. Then again, due to the embargo and restrictions we have been going through in this period, we need to attach more importance to local production and development. Yet, we also need to outdistance the single-handed manufacturing modality and we should be open to cooperation opportunities with international partners. Today we witness our Main Contractor companies reaching a level of certain maturity and power. We have to support our SMEs more and support them further especially in test and certification aspects.”

Stating that they aimed to expand the Defense Industry all around Anatolia and to various parts of Turkey, Minister Mr. Işık continued: “We are exerting utmost efforts to this end. At this point I would like to underline our effort to create a structure that functions well from the bottom to the top.”  Mr. Işık particularly warned the foundation companies and stressed the requirement for robust functioning Medium Sized companies among SMEs and Large Scaled companies toward achieving a dynamic pyramid in Turkey and added: “Unfortunately our main contractor companies perceive our medium sized companies as their rivals and react to impede them from overgrowth. Our large scaled companies should be able to see the medium sized companies as important ties with the SMEs. We have to achieve this and I will be in hot pursuit of this issue.”

Winners of the SaSaD Defense Industry Awards   

During the event, awards were presented to the companies that succeeded in the competition according to the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries’ (SSM) Award Rating System. This year, within the scope of the Defense Industry Awards as per the Financial Data, TEI was ranked in first place followed by TAI, and Samsun Yurt Defense Industry company coming in as the third company in the competition.  

Defense Industry Special Awards were presented as noted below:

Entrepreneurship Category: E-Poli Kollo Boya Kimya Sanayi, RFTR Elektronik and Ottoman Medikal Companies

Successful Product Delivery Category: Aksa Run-Flat, Roketsan/Baykar Makina/Kalekalıp and Aselsan

Technology Development Award: Roketsan, TAI, DowAksa and Havelsan 

Export Achievement Category: STM and BMC

Most Rapidly Growing Cluster: SAHA İstanbul

Promotion Category: OSSA 

Following the award ceremony, Head of Strategy Development Department of SSM Mr. Yasin Polat made a presentation on SSM’s Strategic Plan Activities for 2017 - 2021 period