Turkish Space Agency (TUA), established less than three years ago, could soon sign a cooperation agreement with Russia.
"We are building bilateral relations with countries and with international organizations that we have identified in accordance with our national goals. We keep working on common conditions of cooperation with different countries, including Russia. We have plans for signing an agreement in the near future,” Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım, chief of the agency, was quoted as saying by TASS.
“As far as Russia is concerned, we have vast opportunities in many fields of cooperation. We believe that we will be able to make much faster progress if we manage to build firm relations of partnership based on mutually beneficial cooperation,” he added.
Last month, Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unveiled a landmark space program that draws a roadmap for the country’s space-related plans for the next ten years. Yıldırım attended the program’s launch event and had said he was meeting Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos space agency. It was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rogozin had said previously that Turkey has all the necessary political and economic leverage to carry out its National Space Program and that Moscow is ready and willing to evaluate all opportunities to participate in initiatives regarding the program. He revealed to Anadolu Agency that a draft document was being prepared to make the contacts between the countries more systematic and comprehensive.
Turkey reportedly plans to launch its own astronaut training program after 2023 and is willing to earmark $6 billion to this end.
In September 2018, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency that Ankara could join the joint project between Russia and Kazakhstan to use the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Rogozin also noted that Russia is ready to train a Turkish crew for the International Space Station flight in 2023 when Turkey will celebrate 100 years since its establishment.