Turkish space industry “decimated” by purges
December 16, 2016
By Chris Forrester
Turkey’s important space and satellite industry has been “decimated” by the recent politically-inspired purges, according to Metin Gurcan, the Istanbul-based security analyst of Al-Monitor.
The July 15th coup attempt resulted in many dismissals with Turkey’s Air Force, which also included many R&D elements of the country’s space activities. The nation’s Air Force Academy has been closed, says the report, and some especially qualified space project personnel dismissed.
This included staff at the country’s Aeronautics & Space Technologies Institute.
There is still work going on, however. Goturk-1 (a military satellite) was launched on December 5th from French Guiana, and the country has a $1 billion budget for satellite projects (military and commercial). During 2017 it expects to launch two commercial satellites Turksat 5A and 5B, while Turksat 5C will be developed and constructed within Turkey.