National Technology Initiative: Social Reflections and Türkiye's Future

Roketsan’s Technological Journey from Past to Present and its Place in Türkiye’s Future

The trade wars and technological conflicts between countries that have emerged because of the globalization today play a key role in determining the balances in the world. In order to understand Roketsan’s place and its direct and indirect contributions, it is essential to know the history and development process of the company in the National Technology Initiative, which was initiated with the vision of ensuring the technological and economic independence of our country and becoming a global power. In the first years of the Turkish Republic, a technology and industry move were initiated in Türkiye, but it could not be sustained. In the following years, technological dependence on foreign countries increased and its negative effects were clearly seen in the problems experienced in Cyprus in the 1960s and 1970s. After the Cyprus Peace Operation, necessary decisions were taken to establish an independent and national defense industry. Founded in 1988 to meet the rocket and missile needs of our country, Roketsan is one of the important fruits of these decisions. The understanding of catching up with the competitors who had started the technology race long ago, the nationalization of rocket and missile technologies controlled by international restrictions, as well as the development of innovative technologies has been an important part of Roketsan’s corporate genes from the very beginning. In the light of the National Technology Initiative initiated for the technological and economic independence of our country at the beginning of the 2000s, Roketsan’s development journey has also accelerated, and innovative technologies and successful products have been introduced as a result of these investments in technological infrastructure, knowledge and qualified human resources. With the effect of globalization, countries’ becoming connected to each other in many dimensions has started a great change and transformation process in the world. However, the economic turmoil and inter-country trade wars triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic indicate that the world is entering a new era. Especially the bottlenecks in natural resources, the search for alternatives to hydrocarbon-based energy resources and the change in usage strategies, the risks of access to water and food resources, as well as the shrinkage or monopolization of critical raw material resources used in industries such as microelectronics industry, as global warming becomes more evident, causes tensions and conflicts in the global context, and can even lead to wars. In the future, in order to be ready for the effects that may arise in the event of the realization of these risks, and to manage the process effectively, Türkiye needs to create the necessary strategies and develop reflexes together with all its institutions. Roketsan, which is of critical importance for the security of our country’s future, continues its studies on the technologies and systems of the future, whilst developing flexible and adaptable corporate processes and systematic reflexes that will increase its resilience against unexpected crises and events. We believe that these strategies and activities put forward by Roketsan are of critical importance in our country’s technology move, both in military and civilian terms, will be of great benefit to many sectors, and beyond that, they will contribute to the social sense by increasing the self-confidence and technological awareness of our society.

DOI: 10.53478/TUBA.978-625-8352-17-7.ch24