ANKARA — Turkey’s Teknopark Istanbul, a hub of research and development efforts similar to the Silicon Valley but for the country’s defense and related industries, will generate nearly $10 billion for Turkey’s economy annually when it is completed in eight to 10 years, the project’s business development chief has said.
“I think the annual contribution of Istanbul Teknopark to Turkey’s economy will be around $10 billion when the project is completed,” said Ozgur Ozcelik.
Teknopark Istanbul will operate a 950,000-square-meter indoor space at Sabiha Gokcen Airport, east of Istanbul, accommodating more than 30,000 people and targeting $10 billion in defense and nondefense business annually, to become one of Europe’s largest technology parks.
Its major shareholders are the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) with a 45 percent stake and the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce with a 40 percent stake. Construction work began late last year, when Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergun and SSM Chief Murad Bayar laid its foundation.
“The site will bring together companies and many universities in Istanbul, targeting strategic fields like aviation, maritime, electronics, information technology, nanotechnology, energy and automotive, biotechnologies, automation systems, and robot technologies,” said Turgut Senol, the CEO of the technology center. Some of the world’s technology giants are already in talks with Teknopark Istanbul to build their own offices there, he said.
The center’s first six blocks, with an indoor space of 61,000 square meters will be opened by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in December or January, said the center’s officials. This will formally launch the technopark’s opening, which will eventually expand into 950,000 square meters.
Similar technoparks in Europe, for example the Hamburg Techno Park in Germany, generate around $10 billion to the German industry a year, they said.