May 23, 2007

IDEF '07 in full swing

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


ANKARA – Turkish Daily News

Turkey's internationally acclaimed Defense Industry Fair, or IDEF, opened yesterday at the Ankara Hippodrome, hosting global defense giants displaying brand-new wares in the defense and aviation industry. For more than a decade IDEF, one of the top five fairs across the globe, has become a leading platform to bring together prominent manufacturers of the Turkish and world defense industries.

A total of 494 companies from 48 countries attended the international fair, organized by the TÜYAP Fairs and Exhibitions Organization Inc. and supported by the Defense Ministry. Out of the 494 companies, 162 are Turkish. Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States are among the countries that are participating at the fair, which will run through Friday.

Some 270 top-level officials including four chiefs of staff and 10 ministers from different countries attended IDEF '07 at the modern Ankara Hippodrome. Turkey has been hosting IDEF every other year since 1993.

In an opening address, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said national defense and security was an indispensable necessity for all the countries in the world, emphasizing that in order to protect its national and international interests Turkey had to be equipped with military power and defense capability.

“One cannot deny the strategic importance and priority of our defense industry given the need for indispensable defense and security,” he added.

IDEF '07 is expected to pave the way for talks between participating companies and top-level military officials, civilian decision-makers and foreign delegations. Erdoğan said Turkey wanted to share its defense capability with representatives of friendly countries and allies and benefit from their “invaluable experience.”

“The strengthening of cooperation between our defense industries will contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability and help us turn the problems we encounter into a window of opportunity,” he said. Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül said Turkey must keep its armed forces strong and well-equipped in order to safeguard peace and security in the sensitive geographical region it is situated in. He emphasized that the concept of threat has become unpredictable in the aftermath of the Cold War and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a development that showed the complexity of the region where Turkey is located.

“Our defense policy is mainly based upon the principle of the Turkish Republic's founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk ‘peace at home peace in the world' but we must keep our armed forces strong and capable in order to protect peace and security in this volatile geographical region,” he added.

Erdoğan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt and Gönül inaugurated the fair together with the visiting defense ministers from participating countries following the ceremony. Later Erdoğan, Gönül and top commanders visited the stalls to see the latest developments in the defense industry.

Germany alone showed up with 59 companies at the event to introduce its new wares. Etec, LITEF GmbH, Zeiss and Kraus-Mafei Weqmann (KMW) are among the German firms exhibiting their products. Italy is represented by a number of companies including the Finmeccanica group and Electronica. Five Spanish firms are present at the fair: General Dynamics, Santa Barbara Sistemas, Indra, Instalaza and INTA.

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