Haluk BAYRAKTAR, CEO of Istanbul

As SAHA Istanbul, we left behind our 7th year. Our cluster, which set out with the aim of increasing the rate of the locality from the Northern Marmara Region, which covers 54 per cent of Turkey's industrial production in 2015, has reached 816+ members as of this month. Our members consist of companies producing in 51 sectors and 83% SMEs. In addition, there are 22 universities in our cluster. In this context; By forming the University-Industry cooperation, we combine the platform, system and sub-components needed by our state by using our fast and domestic production power.

Today, SAHA Istanbul has become the largest industrial cluster in Turkey and the second largest in Europe. There is a great effort, belief and determination behind this success achieved in a short period of 7 years. We continue on our way with our belief in the production power and patriotism of our industrialists.

SAHA Istanbul is not only growing with numbers. We have built and continue to build solid bridges between government institutions, industrialists, universities and all stakeholders who need to walk on this path together.

We see that our country is facing the positive outcomes of the nationalization vision, step by step, from year to year. We bring together the stakeholders to ensure the successful realization of the national technology move, within the framework of the right strategies. We support the opening of R&D centres and Technopark projects. We are realizing the cooperation between the university and the industry. Our past experiences in the field of the defence industry show how important the national and original production model is.

We see this year's increase in exports of the Defense Industry sector as the greatest achievement of this vision. For the first time in 2021, our industry exceeded 3 billion dollars and achieved an export record of 3.22 billion dollars. It is a critical issue that this success is effective and sustainable. The main goal of the sector should be to increase its market share on a world scale and to be among the top 10 exporting countries. If the trend in export volume is sustained, we will be able to reach this target in the next 5 years.

The added value per kilogram of high technology exports is among the priorities of a fully independent and prosperous Turkey.

We believe that it is very important to continue the mobilization of the localization movement, especially in the defence and aviation fields, which are in a critical position for the security of our country.

As SAHA Istanbul, we continue developing and manufacturing the main platform, subsystem, and critical components nationally with 726 companies and exporting them. We carry out 6 UR-GE Projects within the technical committees established for this purpose. In this context, we have supported the products of 76 of our companies to create demand abroad and increase their competitiveness. We will continue to ensure that domestic manufacturers meet with foreign companies, and military and civilian procurement committees at our SAHA EXPO 2022 fair, which will be held on October 25-28 this year, with the participation of nearly 100 foreign companies in 2021.

Hundreds of products whose localization has been completed thanks to the projects developed by our members have entered the TAF inventory and continue to do so. Many projects that will support Turkey's nationalization move continue to be developed. While our rate of locality has increased to 75%, we are meeting the development together by spreading this development to the foundation.

In the coming period, we will see a period in which the technological depth of the platforms produced locally, especially the sub-main systems and components, will increase. From this point of view, we need to create a healthy sustainable structure that will carry the point we have come forward. At this point, the task of SAHA Istanbul is increasing.

The steps we take with determination, investments in the high technology and defence industry, and the efforts we make to train the human resources we need are the guarantee of our future.

We all know that; When we are united, the power of those who want to block us will not be enough for us. A Turkey capable of producing advanced technology, being independent in the defence industry and making its voice stronger in the world is no longer a dream, but a reality.

As SAHA Istanbul, which brings together companies operating in the defence and aviation sectors, where high technology is dominant, under the same roof, we also had a very busy year. The past two years for us; It was a period in which we focused on digitalization, institutionalization and member experience processes, experienced innovations, achieved important successes in line with our own goals, and successfully implemented SAHA Istanbul's motto "Together we are stronger" together with our industrialists during the difficult times of our country.

We will write new success stories in aviation, defence and space technologies. As SAHA Istanbul, we will continue to work for Turkey with our new projects and strong collaborations, both at home and abroad. We continue with firm steps in our nationalization target, which we aimed while establishing SAHA Istanbul. In the next period, we will continue to work and produce for Turkey and take part in Turkey's achievements in the defence and aerospace industry together with our industrialists.

In line with Turkey's national goals, we will continue on our way with all our strength and determination until we reach the position it deserves.

My respects to all of you.