ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey and its littoral Black Sea neighbor Ukraine have signed an agreement to broaden their cooperation in space and satellite technologies.
SSB President and Turkey’s top procurement official Ismail Demir and Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Nov. 30 to discuss space and defense cooperation between the two countries.
Serdar Huseyin Yildirim, head of the Turkish Space Agency, announced the agreement Dec. 4, which involves cooperation on launching technologies, satellite production, marketing and production of subsystems, and a program designed to manufacture a common rocket launcher.
The Turkish Space Agency is responsible for the civilian applications of Turkish-Ukrainian space efforts, while Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries, or SSB, is administering the military aspect of programs.
Yildirim said Turkey is in talks with nearly 20 countries for space cooperation, including Russia, Japan, Pakistan, India and Azerbaijan. He said Russia recently proposed a draft space agreement on which Turkish authorities are presently working. Officials say the planned agreement would be sealed soon.
Although Ukraine and Russia are at odds over the latter’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, Turkey is confident it can work with both nations, Yildirim said, noting that “the U.S. and Russia are rivals in various areas but are working together in space.”
Burak Ege Bekdil is a Turkey correspondent for Defense News. He has written for Hurriyet Daily News, and worked as Ankara bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He is also a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Middle East Quarterly and Gatestone Institute.