Sivas is Clearly Becoming Turkey’s ‘Optics Valley’ with Aselsan Sivas

With over US$ 25 Million of investments in the Sivas factory CEO of Aselsan Sivas, Murat ŞAHİN discusses the company’s four years of rapid growth, the leap that took them into the current manufacturing capacity of 40 different electro-optical products and future outlook built upon industry-university cooperation

Date: Issue 101 - November 2020

Defence Turkey: Could you give us information about the partnership structure, board of directors, personnel, the production facility, and infrastructure capacity of Aselsan Sivas, which was established for Precision Optics Production in 2016, as well as some details about your procurement and engineering department in Ankara?

Murat ŞAHİN: The Aselsan Sivas production plant started operations on May 28, 2016, in Sivas/Turkey. 50% of the shares belong to Aselsan and 50% of the shares belong to SOM (Sivas Optical Material Inc.). Our Board of Directors consist of 4 members. 2 of them are from Aselsan namely MGEO-Aselsan Vice President Prof. Dr. Sezai ELAGÖZ and UGES-Aselsan Vice President Dr. İbrahim BEKAR and two of our Board Members are from SOM Inc. namely Mr. Osman YILDIRIM and Mr. Mahmut DERELİ. We employ 300 colleagues. 250 of our workforces are blue-collar technical staff and 50 of them are white-collar engineers and administrative personnel. The important point is that our employees’ average age is 27 and 95% of them are from Sivas. We are manufacturing highly sophisticated electro-optical products with these young colleagues. They are highly motivated to produce these technological products in Sivas. For four years we grew rapidly and invested US$ 25 Million in total in the Sivas factory. We currently manufacture 40 different electro-optical products. Besides, we conduct efficient backward integration and have the capability to manufacture our optical and optomechanical subcomponents. This gives us the opportunity to supply good quality products at inexpensive prices. In a rather short period of time, our sales increased 10-fold (we were declared by TOBB to be among the top 100 rapidly growing companies). In the beginning of 2019, we opened our Ankara Branch as a Design Office in where we have engineers and administrative personnel to organize product designs/development, perform quality control at the source, and conduct purchasing and customer relations operations.