First Turk in area arouses satisfaction for nation and Erdogan | EUROtoday

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By flying to the ISS on Thursday, Alper Gezeravci, a 43-year-old fighter pilot, will turn into the primary Turk to participate in an area expedition. A supply of satisfaction for Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who hailed a logo of “power”.

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This is a good first for Turkey. Alper Gezeravci, a 43-year-old fighter pilot, 21 of whom within the Turkish Air Force, is making ready to take off for the ISS on Thursday, January 18, from the Cape Canaveral base in Florida (southeast). of the United States), for a 14-day mission.

Colonel Gezeravci will be a part of the worldwide station within the firm of a Swede, an Italian and a Spaniard aboard a personal shuttle from the corporate Axiom, which can thus perform its third mission in partnership with NASA.

“We see this mission as the symbol of an increasingly powerful and assertive Turkey,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated Tuesday night. “May this trip by our brother Alper be beneficial to our entire nation and our youth” added the Head of State, wishing him “good luck”.

He himself launched Alper Gezeravci’s mission between the 2 rounds of the presidential election, in May 2023, and repeatedly recalled the significance of this flight for the nation.

“We are on the verge of achieving our goal of sending one of our citizens into space. Be proud, Turkey!” he stated final week, specifying that the astronaut would conduct 13 experiments ready by the nation’s universities.

These first steps into area come at simply the best time for the president, eager to impose his nation on the worldwide scene however whose gives of mediation haven’t met with the success he anticipated, nor within the battle between Russia and Ukraine nor, this fall, between Israel and Hamas.

For Marc Pierini, diplomat and related researcher on the Carnegie Europe Institute, who hails this primary mission by a Turkish astronaut as “a real success”, “it has no connection with Turkey’s capacity to be an actor who would influence the global political agenda.

“Galvanize national pride”

“The fluctuations in its foreign policy do not leave Ankara with any hope of playing a leading role on the international scene,” he predicts, citing Turkey’s procrastination on NATO – it has still not approved the Sweden’s accession -, its ambiguities on the Ukrainian conflict – in which it seeks to accommodate both parties -, and its support for Palestinian Islamist Hamas, which it described as a “liberating motion” in the face of Israel, a “terrorist state” .

Nevertheless, Turkey has a serious space program through its satellites and its space agency, created in 2018.

“This historic event will validate technological objectives and galvanize the national pride of the Turkish people,” says Halit Mirahmetoglu, director of the Gühem Space and Aviation Center, based in Bursa (western Turkey). “But also to launch a new era of scientific innovation and international collaboration,” he hopes.

Sending the first Turk to the ISS was the first of 10 objectives of the Turkish space strategy presented in 2021, recalls the official who is on his way to Florida.

While Ankara has distinguished itself for several years with its combat drones, both efficient and inexpensive, Halit Mirahmetoglu insists on “the interconnection of the aviation, area, protection and software program industries “.

Turkey therefore wants to be among the great space nations: it already knows how to “conceptualize, construct and handle the operations of its geostationary and low-orbit satellites” and intends to go further, he assures, towards a “area ecosystem ” complete.

“The field of space exploration, long reserved for a club of developed nations, is now opening up to emerging countries. It is Turkey’s turn to join the big club,” he concludes with passion, expecting “possibilities of technological and scientific discoveries and advancements”.

As for the hero of the day, Alper Gezeravci, he appreciates the symbolic weight of his mission, saying he is ready to “take the dreams of the Turkish people into the depths of space”.

“This trip is not an end for us, just the means to achieve the objectives of our space studies,” he told the official Anadolu agency. According to NASA, the ISS has welcomed more than 275 astronauts on board, generally for a period of several months.

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With AFP

https://www.france24.com/fr/europe/20240117-le-premier-turc-dans-l-espace-suscite-la-fiert%C3%A9-du-pays-et-d-erdogan