Turkey plans to build own satellite launch base

Turkish is planning to build a national satellite launch base, which will be used solely for peaceful purposes, as underlined by officials.

The decision was made at the latest meeting of the Defense Industry Implementation Committee (SSİK) attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Necdet Özel. Sources close to the Defense Ministry say the plan also paves the way for joint investment projects.

It has been reported that Turkey's facilities, including military, industrial and agricultural, are being watched by other countries via spy satellites. The country's security officials and senior bureaucrats of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have recently attended a meeting in the capital, Ankara, to discuss the issue. The meeting resulted in a call for related authorities to invest more in satellite technology as a counter-attack.

At the meeting, participants discussed the intelligence threats that Turkey faces due to satellite technology. They highlighted the fact that some countries are able with their satellites to count the number of people walking on İstanbul's İstiklal Street, take photographs of Turkey's military facilities and even estimate the wheat crop harvest in the country.

Another topic of the meeting was the Surveillance Satellite System Göktürk-2, the first Turkish intelligence and surveillance satellite that will be capable of detecting the movements of objects smaller than one square meter.

Göktürk-2 is expected to be launched in December after a one-year delay. Since Turkey does not have the technology to launch satellites, China is going to send it to the space in exchange of $20 million. Another satellite project, called Göktürk-1, is still underway. Constructed by Italian firm Telespazio, Göktürk-1 will have more sophisticated technology than Göktürk-2.

Adapted from Worldbulletin