Haluk BAYRAKTAR, CEO of Istanbul

As SAHA Istanbul, we have left behind our 8th year. In 2015, our cluster, which set out with the aim of increasing the localisation rate in the Northern Marmara Region, which covers 54 per cent of Turkey's industrial production, has reached 1100 members as of this month. Our members consist of companies producing in 51 sectors and 83 per cent SMEs. There are also 29 universities in our cluster. In this framework, we are combining the platforms, systems and subcomponents required by our state by utilising our fast and domestic production power by establishing University-Industry cooperation.

Today, SAHA Istanbul has become the largest industrial cluster in Turkey and Europe. Achieved in a short period of 8 years, this success is the result of great effort, faith and determination. We continue on our way with our belief in the production power and patriotism of our industrialists.

SAHA Istanbul is growing not only in numbers. We have built and continue to build strong bridges between state institutions, industrialists, universities and all stakeholders who need to walk together on this path.

We see that our country is seeing the positive outcomes of the nationalisation vision step by step, year by year. We are bringing together the stakeholders that will ensure the successful realisation of the national technology move within the framework of the right strategies. We support the opening of R&D centres and Technopark projects. We are realising university-industry cooperation in real terms. Our past experiences in the defence industry show how important the national and original production model is.

We see the export increase of the Defence Industry sector this year as the biggest success of this vision. By the end of 2023, our sector has achieved the success of exporting more than 230 platforms, systems, subsystems and materials worth 5.5 billion dollars to 185 countries. It is of critical importance that this success is effective and sustainable. The main goal of the sector should be to increase its market share on a global scale and to be among the top 10 exporting countries. If the trend in export volume is maintained in a sustainable manner, it will be possible to reach this target within the next 5 years.

The added value per kilogram that high technology exports will provide is among the priorities of a fully independent and prosperous Turkey.

We believe that it is very important to continue the indigenization movement as a mobilisation, especially in the fields of defence and aerospace, which are critical for the security of our country.

As SAHA Istanbul, we continue our efforts to develop and produce main platforms, subsystems and critical components indigenously and to export them with 1100 companies. We are conducting 6 Development of International Competitiveness Projects within the technical committees established for this purpose. In this context, we have so far supported 76 companies to create demand for their products abroad and increase their competitiveness. With our SAHA EXPO 2024 fair, which was attended by more than 250 foreign companies in 2022 and will be held on 22-26 October this year, we will continue to enable domestic manufacturers to meet with foreign companies, military and civilian procurement delegations.

Thanks to the projects developed by our members, hundreds of indigenised products have entered and continue to enter the TAF inventory. Many projects that will support Turkey's nationalisation drive continue to be developed. While our indigenisation rate has reached 75%, we are taking this development together by spreading this development to the foundation.

In the coming period, we will see a period in which the technological depth of platforms with a high proportion of domestically produced platforms, especially the sub-main systems and components, will increase. From this point of view, we now need to create a healthy sustainable structure that will carry the point we have reached further. At this point, the duty of SAHA Istanbul is increasing.

The steps we take with determination, high technology and defence industry investments, and the efforts we make to train the human resources we need are the guarantee of our future.

We all know that when we are united, the power of those who want to cut us off will not be enough for us. A Turkey that can produce advanced technology, is independent in the defence industry and has a stronger voice in the world is no longer a dream, but a reality.

As SAHA Istanbul, which brings together companies operating in the defence and aerospace sectors, which are dominated by high technology, under the same roof, we have experienced a very busy year. The past two years have been a period in which we have focused on digitalisation, institutionalisation and member experience processes, experienced innovations, achieved significant successes in line with our own goals, and successfully implemented SAHA Istanbul's motto "We are stronger together" with our industrialists in difficult times for our country.

We will write new success stories in aviation, defence and space technologies. As SAHA Istanbul, we will continue to work for Turkey at home and abroad with our new projects and strong collaborations. We are taking firm steps towards the nationalisation goal we aimed for when we established SAHA Istanbul. In the coming period, we will continue to work and produce for Turkey, and take part in Turkey's success in the defence and aerospace industry together with our industrialists.

In line with Turkey's national targets, we will continue on our way with all our strength and determination until Turkey reaches the position it deserves.


I present my respects to all of you.