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Boeing Opened its First Engineering and Technology Center in Turkey – Common Goals for Mutual Success and Growth

Boeing celebrated the opening of its first Engineering and Technology Center in Turkey with a Technology Day event held as part of the Boeing Turkey National Aviation Plan. President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR, Vice President of Defense Industries Serdar DEMİREL, Boeing Research and Technology Vice President Naveed HUSSAIN, Boeing Turkey Managing Director Ayşem SARGIN, Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih KACIR, Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Ömer Fatih SAYAN and many experts from the aerospace industry, government and universities attended the event on December 10, 2018 at the Swissotel Istanbul

A symbolic opening ceremony of the Boeing Turkey Engineering and Technology Center which was established by Boeing at Teknopark Istanbul was accomplished within the scope of the event. Boeing’s engineering, technology and R&D partnerships in Turkey and the future of aviation were discussed during the panels following the ceremony.

As part of Boeing’s global engineering and technology network, the Engineering and Technology Center will be focusing on design engineering and R&D activities. The center will assume a critical role in respect to enriching Turkey’s aerospace ecosystem and strengthening the country’s ties with the global aerospace industry. The Boeing Turkey Engineering and Technology Center will concentrate on advanced aerospace technologies by collaborating with Turkey’s talented engineers. The center, which will be launching its activities with research, engineering and design work for Boeing’s new generation commercial aircraft, will be expanding subsequently with activities in key technology areas in which Boeing focuses.

“Turkey is one of Boeing’s strategic growth countries, and we see great potential for the country to contribute more to the global aerospace industry as an industrial and technology partner,” said Ayşem SARGIN, Boeing Turkey Managing Director and Country Executive. “The Boeing Turkey Engineering and Technology Center is a testament to Boeing’s commitment to Turkey. We are proud that this new center will develop technologies for the global aerospace industry, adding to the existing capability in Turkey and bringing Turkey one step closer to its target to become a global player in aerospace.  This is a major milestone under the Technology Acceleration component of the Boeing Turkey National Aerospace Initiative (NAI), which we launched jointly with the Presidency of Defense Industries last year. Choosing Istanbul as the location for our new engineering center demonstrates Boeing’s long-term view on Turkey, and our commitment to support development of an innovative, world-class, competitive aerospace ecosystem in Turkey. We are committed to grow in Turkey, together with Turkey”.

“With the new Boeing Turkey Engineering and Technology Center, Boeing will leverage Turkey’s engineering talent and expertise to improve some of the most advanced aerospace products in the world,” said Naveed HUSSAIN, Global Head of Boeing Research and Technology. “This new center will contribute to Boeing’s efforts to innovate, compete and win by providing solutions in key technology areas to make our products and services more capable for our customers. It also establishes a long-term framework so Boeing and its Turkish partners can advance their common goals for mutual success”. 

Boeing International President Marc ALLEN addressed the invitees via a video message and expressed his excitement about the opening of the center.

In his speech at the opening ceremony of the Boeing Technology Day and Boeing Turkey Engineering and Technology Center, President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR stated that the Turkish Defense Industry became affiliated with Boeing within the scope of the Peace Eagle Project and added that this close contact has lasted many years. Noting that the cooperation between Boeing and Turkey continued with the CH-47 Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopter Project, the deliveries of which are currently underway intensely, Prof. DEMİR stated that Turkey wished to take part in the production processes of Boeing within a larger span. Prof. DEMİR continued: “Boeing used to assign certain projects in Turkey to both Türk Havacılık ve Uzay Sanayii AŞ (TUSAŞ) and to our other companies but Turkey was unable to exceed its position of manufacturing certain parts for Boeing. When touring Boeing, if you go next to the 747s, they will immediately tell you that the landing gear’s lid is manufactured in Turkey. You have your photo taken in front of it. But I believe that we need to go way beyond the landing gear lid, the elevator; we need to raise the bar. As I witness the capabilities in this country, I believe that it will rise. In my opinion, the Boeing Turkey Engineering and Technology Center is an indicator  of this. Turkey should be a country beyond one that is merely utilized as a subcontractor, a manufacturer in the supply chain, and a country that is preferred for manufacturing as it offers price advantages.”

The President of Defense Industries Prof. DEMİR stated that Boeing took a critical step with the facility established in Turkey, and added that in return, the Turkish aviation companies should be within a cluster activity capable of collaborating with such a center. Expressing that they strived to reveal global brands that can contribute to the global economy in Turkey, Prof. DEMİR noted that they aimed to establish a successful cluster in the aerospace area. Underlining that primarily activities on internal cabin design and development of composite technologies will be conducted at the Boeing Turkey Engineering and Technology Center, Prof. DEMİR continued, “In the future, we will be witnessing the transformation of these centers in which hundreds of engineers are intensely working on a multitude of projects. I am certain that our talented Turkish engineers well educated in this Center will be able to achieve work at worldwide standards”. Stating that in the center to be opened, Turkey’s intellectual capability and engineering capacity will be combined Prof. DEMİR added, “Turkey will no longer be a parts manufacturing candidate country, it is transforming into a structure that is involved in the design as well as becoming a part of the design. In Turkey, we have activities with companies in the global market that will contribute to a wide global economy. The aim of this is to place players in the global league in Turkey, this is related with both manufacturing and technology development as well as R&D and engineering. We wish to include these into our own assessment and qualification processes regarding them equal to our own qualification processes.”

Mentioning that the developing aerospace industry of Turkey was being transformed into a global center of attraction, Prof. DEMİR said, “We have aircraft, helicopter, unmanned air vehicle and task systems development projects. In the upcoming years, you will be witnessing Turkey’s development of its indigenous products used in sub systems and engine systems and its further advance of the existing systems”. Expressing that they were ready to work shoulder to shoulder with Boeing in all activities that will create added value based on the “win - win” principle as the Turkish Defense Industry, DEMİR addressed the executives of Boeing saying, “Do not hesitate to consult us whenever you are facing any difficulties.”

Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih KACIR said that the geniuses in aerospace area with innovative approaches in Turkey struggled with too many challenges over the years, yet in this new era Turkey embraced these “inventor” people. Noting that Turkey would be continuing its reformist approach based on R&D which was achieved in recent years, KACIR said that they were conducting activities supporting reverse brain-drain of human capital as the Ministry of Industry and Technology. Stating that the rate of domestic participation increased in the defense industry, KACIR said: “Turkey is a global power. One of the most critical instruments fortifying our power is the products we reveal in the defense industry. Presently Turkey has reached a capacity of being enable to develop its own high technology products and to manufacture them. For the development of our industry, there is a determination of all shareholders composed of a strong consensus and target togetherness, a will that is not afraid to shoulder the responsibilities. On account of this determination, Turkey has increased its rate of domestic participation in the defense industry from 24% to 65% in the last 16 years. Our universities, research institutions and associations and our SMEs have a crucial role in this success. Furthermore, KACIR stated that approximately 21% of the Turkish Defense and Aviation Industry was allocated to R&D and this constituted an example to the other industries with high added value.

In his speech, Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Ömer Fatih SAYAN stated that as a result of the transformation and efforts within the last 16 years, Turkish Airlines (THY) today became an airline conducting flights to more than 120 countries. Expressing that the civil aviation industry in Turkey directly employed over 200,000 people, SAYAN continued, “With its turnover of over US$ 20 billion, the civil aviation industry became one of the most strategic areas connecting Turkey with the world in terms of global business and tourism. Reminding the audience of the fact that they aimed to increase the number of wide - bodied aircraft to 750 and the number of passengers to 300 million as part of the Aerospace Plan for 2023, SAYAN underlined that presently Turkey is one of the countries increasing its flight network the most in Europe. Underlining that when the Istanbul Airport, which was opened previously is fully completed, it will reach a capacity of 150 million, SAYAN concluded his speech, “Our airport will be connecting 60 countries and an economy of US 20 trillion to each other.”

Following the opening remarks, thank you plaques were handed to DEMİR, KACIR and SAYAN in commemoration of the day by Boeing officials.

The Boeing Turkey Engineering and Technology Center will leverage a talented pool of local engineers, focusing on high value-added technologies. The center will start its activities with research, engineering and design work for Boeing’s new generation commercial airplanes, expanding to other key technology areas moving forward.