By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – Russian political analysts have hailed a recent decision by the Turkish government to create the country's first space agency as "strategic" and "aligned with the times".
"Satellite systems play a significant role in providing security, communications, navigation, scientific researches. Many countries now use the satellite systems of other states, but this makes them vulnerable. Therefore, the decision to create a Turkish space agency is a strategic, aligned with the times and country's national interests," Yuri Mavashev, the head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies, said in an interview with Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
"For a country like Turkey — a state with a significant political and economic influence, supported by the power of one of the best armies in the world, — plunging into the space exploration is a logical step. Realization of space programs will increase Turkey's possibilities and will strengthen its position as one of the global centers of influence," he said.
On Tuesday, Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank announced that a Turkish space agency will be founded this year. He said the agency will set up a system that ensures coordination in the aerospace sector while protecting Turkey’s national interests.
Former diplomat and political commentator Vyacheslav Matuzov said the space program will help Turkey secure its borders and fight against terrorism.
"Turkey has a lot of, let's say, 'difficult' neighboring countries. Developed satellite systems are the best for the remote control on the borders and revealing potential threats. Both satellites and drones have their advantages, but satellites are invisible and can reach hard-to-access areas. Satellites are known for its wide use in fighting against terrorism, that can be useful for Turkey, because, unfortunately, it is being attacked by terrorists quite often," he told Anadolu Agency.
Matuzov also said that being in the same region as Israel must be a motive for developing space programs.
"Turkey is known as the main protector of Palestine. Turkey does not let other countries forget the Palestinian problem and mobilize Arab countries for the defense of Palestine. That irritates Israel, of course. And although Turkey's relations with Israel are moderate, it would be better to have parity with this country in everything," he said.
Member of the Russian Academy of Space Andrey Ionin called the space exploration a "driving force" of other scientific domains.
"Political, economic influence is important, but the ground for [influence] is scientific development. And the domains like space and nuclear [applications] are locomotives of such development", he said.
Ionin also said space programs boost the status of the countries who have them.
"There is also a definition — a space state, that means that country is great enough to overcome the gravity of routine problems and to step up to the space future," he said.
Earlier, a Russian cosmonaut Sergey Revin, in an interview with Anadolu Agency, offered Turkey to create its own module at the International Space Station.
Also, instructors Viktor Suvorov and Andrey Kuritsin with the Russian Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center have told Anadolu Agency that the center was ready to prepare Turkish astronauts to go into outer space and to develop joint space programs with Turkey.