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OSSA’s 5th Ordinary General Meeting was Held in Ankara

The OSTİM Defence and Aviation Cluster’s (OSSA) 5th Ordinary General Meeting was held in Ankara on January 30, 2019 with broad participation. The activity report of the Board of Directors, operating income- expenditure accounts and reports of the supervisory board were released separately at the meeting. The budget was forecasted by assessing the activities for the years 2019-2020. The Ordinary General Meeting also witnessed the elections for the new term membership for the Board of Directors and Supervisory Board

President of the Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR, President of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce Gürsel BARAN, Vice Presidents of the Defense Industries Celal Sami TÜFEKÇİ, Mustafa Murat ŞEKER, Head of the Industrialization Department at the Presidency of Defense Industries Murat ÇİZGEL, Board Member at Aselsan Bayram GENÇCAN, SaSaD Secretary General Hüseyin BAYSAK, SaSaD Assistant Secretary General Yılmaz KÜÇÜKSEYHAN, TUSAŞ, Roketsan and many representatives of the government and private sector attended the general meeting.

Chairman of the Meeting, President of OSTİM’s Board of Directors Orhan AYDIN, underlined the importance of the industry for our country as well as the role of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB). Stating that OSSA was formed under the leadership and guidance of the companies located at OSTİM with the know-how, support and contributions of the Presidency of Defense Industries in defense and aviation areas AYDIN added, “Although it is a novelty for us, the cluster philosophy offers a significant model that we correspond our history and geography with for the development of our country, our region and our industry in general.”

Expressing that the cluster is an example of the philosophy of the Ahi - Order Orhan AYDIN remarked: “No matter how it is based on the western Porter theory, clusters are in fact a part of our history. Clusters enable competition within the same industry as well as cooperation again within the same industry and have a background that allows self-improvement, self- development which guides the industrialists while keeping them in line. Therefore, we strive by fully believing in the cluster. OSSA is one of the first clusters we launched in OSTİM. In our zone, we also provide services to other clusters regarding work and construction machinery, defense and aviation, medical supplies, energy, rubber, railed systems and communication technologies, etc. Taking a look at the times we passed, we are closely enjoying the benefits of the work we accomplished. Our Presidency of Defense Industries standing beside our cluster has a critical position as well. Their support and their approval of our work by saying ‘Yes, we support this’ is sufficient.”

OSSA Chairman of the Board Mithat ERTUĞ stated that the cluster continues its activities without slowing down. Underlining that Turkey, who used to import almost everything related with the defense industries until the recent period, now entered the period of maturity, ERTUĞ added, “The size of the industry is well beyond US$ 3.5 billion while the employment it creates is beyond 50 thousand. The industry has been offering critical opportunities and facilities to the SMEs. Thirty percent of the total defense industry turnover based on defense and aviation being accomplished by the subindustry composed mostly of SMEs is a clear indicator of the importance of the SMEs in this industry. OSSA was established to enable the access of the SMEs to such support, to have their voices heard and has acted as a bridge ever since.” 

Mithat ERTUĞ noted that the International Cooperation Days in Defense and Aerospace remained at the top of the list of subjects that the cluster attached importance to and continued, “I believe this event plays a crucial role in our SMEs opening to foreign markets. This year, once again we successfully completed this event held every two years. We enjoy the justified proud of the fruitful event which turned out to be more successful than the previous one. According to the feedback we received, 2,200 people attended the event this year. Participation from 60 countries was observed, and 5,700 registered business negotiations were conducted. These figures are our source of pride. We aim each event to cast a shadow over the previous one, achieve more business negotiations, reach more SMEs and increase our exports. With a team at the background that has been working heartily for two years and with the support provided by the OSTİM Organized Industrial Zone and Presidency of Defense Industries, we overcame the obstacles ahead of us and made our mark on new achievements.”

President of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) Gürsel BARAN pointed that the defense industry is one of the most crucial industries for the capital Ankara and for our country in general. BARAN said, “I know that defense industry has been creating a major added value for Ankara. Defense industry exports exceeded US$ 2 billion. The 2017 figures of Ankara’s defense industry exports were US$ 748 million. This figure increased to US$ 969 million in 2018.” 

In the course of his speech BARAN added, “While increasing its exports by US$ 220 million, our capital Ankara accomplished the half of the overall exports of the industry alone. Therefore, Ankara proved that it was not only the capital of the government but also the capital of the defense industry. This point we reached pleases us while filling us with pride. Focus and momentum were given to the infrastructural activities for the production with indigenous technology especially in the last ten years. Within the scope of the efforts for indigenization, our defense industry has been manufacturing its own satellite, unmanned air vehicle, training jet, helicopter, infantry rifle, battleship, armored vehicles and missile and rocket systems. We have been conducting activities towards entering the top 10 countries in the world market in defense industry exports. The industry’s target set for the year 2023 is to reach the higher league in defense and aerospace industries and achieve exports of US$ 25 billion.”

President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR underlined that OSSA established under the body of OSTİM went on building a model and added that from this point SAHA Cluster was founded in İstanbul. Prof. DEMİR said, “We wish these models would be founded at other parts of Turkey as well and even turn into a more inclusive model including Ankara, because defense industry continues to attract the interest as a popular area. But we have to closely follow the necessary and sufficient conditions at this point in order to maintain a sustainable defense industry capable of gaining momentum and increasing its speed.” 

In his speech Prof. DEMİR underlined the following points: “At the point OSSA arrived, as we also point in our visits from time to time, we particularly wish to underline the necessity of a change of the structure that cuts the metals well, or brings added value through labor processing the parts. We congratulate our companies processing the metal fine, yet as a change in dimension is vital, we wish that design, equipment, brainpower of the design and sweat of the mind could be added more at the processes. The second point is that we believe the workbenches processing the metals well should now be manufactured in our country. Another point is regarding the sub systems and parts which we underestimate dearly, we wish to avoid a series of foreign products related with the lenses, cables, detectors from various companies in our domestic products. Without doubt, we do not have many issues with the ordinary ones, but when we think of domestic products, we come across restrictions regarding supply nowadays. In a sense, we are in a nutshell pleased with this development as it creates awareness. No matter how frequently we mention the importance of indigenization, or warn to be cautious on sub components or how much effort we exert, our companies may have utilized them in a way, yet they seek for our help as soon as they hit the wall. At that point, we roll our sleeves reassuring these companies that we will be solving their problems. We mention the necessity of building companies one fourth, one fifth of the size of Aselsan. If our pyramid gets pointed, in other words if we have 3-5 companies reaching US$ 1 billion, and if we lack companies of US$ 300, 200, 100 million, then we consider this as a deficiency and we believe in the necessity of having such companies. Clusters such as OSSA should gather to have their voices heard, and by reflecting the cluster models to other parties, they should gather various companies and apply for the systems with a cooperation model and we expect them to perhaps enter the equality as main contractors in certain areas at this point, as ambitious players. As the Presidency of Defense Industries, we are executing various activities in order to support the industry and these activities will continue. Our hearts and eyes will follow you constantly. By gathering certain products and companies, by putting the industries, be it may be service industry, or the production industry that are pleased by their utilization into the forefront, rendering their utilization by all players of the industry compulsory, enabling the facilities including both training and consultancy and the supply and utilization of the system including the moral and material support in terms of utilization, and extending them, by disengaging with a foreign - dependent institutional management system in Turkey, we wish Turkey to accomplish and develop its own institutional management systems through indigenous resources and move onto a model which will be set as an example and used extensively in the world. We are ready to provide support regarding this area. Our colleagues are more or less familiar with the model. We can conduct various activities by gathering and extending its usage.”

Following the speeches, the membership elections for the Board of Directors and Supervisory Board were held. According to the results of the elections, the new presidency term of OSSA will be composed of the following names:

Board of Directors (Permanent Members): Küçükpazarlı Havacılık/Taha KÜÇÜKPAZARLI, EMGE/Ahmet Mithat ERTUĞ, Hezarfen Havacılık/Emre FİDAN, Dora Makina/Bekir SAĞLAMYÜREK, Alkan Makine/Mehmet ALKAN, Öznur Makine/Durali EKİCİLER, UDEA/ İbrahim UĞURLU

Supervisory Board (Permanent Members): Tolga Plastik/Mehmet Hakan ATALAY, Metalurji Akdağ Isıl İşlem/ Harun OTACI, Arıtes/Utku KARACA.