SCIENCE AND EDUCATION
Turkish youth mark nation's centenary at TEKNOFEST, embracing role in national technology drive
Baku, September 29, AZERTAC
Taking part in Türkiye’s major tech event, TEKNOFEST, university students say they are proud to be contributing to the country's national technology initiative as the nation celebrates its centenary, according to Anadolu Agency.
“It makes me proud to be able to make a small contribution to Türkiye’s national technology initiative, especially as this year marks the 100th anniversary of Türkiye's foundation,” Yagmur Gonca Saracoglu, a 22-year-old student, told Anadolu during the event, which kicked off on Wednesday in the Aegean province of Izmir.
Saracoglu studies software development at Istanbul Aydin University and had already attended TEKNOFEST in Istanbul. She is “even more excited,” as this year marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Türkiye.
She is part of her university’s Metapiens team which developed a 3D virtual assistant that helps people with time management.
Saracoglu said that Ayla, the virtual assistant, had already assisted 3,000 students in preparing for Turkish university applications.
Türkiye's National Technology Initiative aims to enhance high-value production and raise its share of technology exports through private-sector collaboration.
The five-day festival at Izmir's Cigli Airport features competitions, air shows, exhibitions, and workshops. Anadolu has been among TEKNOFEST's media shareholders as a global communications partner of the event since the first edition.
Umutcan Akguz, 21, who studies electrical and electronic engineering at Ankara-based Hacettepe University, is a regular at TEKNOFEST and has participated in three editions of the event, including in Istanbul and Ankara.
“All three were beautiful, and very nice events were organized on the occasion of the centenary of the republic,” Akguz told Anadolu at his university's stand.
He is part of the university’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) society and they have already won several awards at TEKNOFEST.
"During TEKNOFEST, we interact with other students as well as people from other institutions. We share our projects with them and get their opinion," he added.
They have already met a high-ranking official from Türkiye's tech giant Turkish Aerospace Inc (TAI), he explained enthusiastically.
Another participant at the event is Omer Omer, a 21-year-old mechanical engineering student at Istanbul Technical University. Omer is also part of the university’s Facilis Automobile Team, which was established in 2011 to participate in the Shell Eco-marathon, a worldwide energy efficiency competition.
Noting that so far he has had a great time at TEKNOFEST by meeting students of all ages, Omer said: “It is great to see how they are encouraged and interested in technology.”
Attending all three events in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir at the 100th anniversary, Omer said it is also the 250th anniversary of his university’s establishment and it is “a very special year for us.”
Omer also had a recommendation for the competitions at TEKNOFEST.
“It would be better if instead of scoring and grading on issues that distract from the functions of the car to prioritize the essence of the work, its research and construction, and the advantages they bring,” he said.
According to Omer, projects at TEKNOFEST need investment support and the event is a good opportunity for networking.
Saracoglu echoed Omer by highlighting the importance of meeting with possible investors during the event.
“Businesspeople and representatives of important companies have been visiting us, and we had the chance to discuss possible cooperation and exchange opinions,” she said.
She also called on her peers to never give up despite difficulties.
“Life is not just black and white. There are times when you think it is not happening, but actually that is the moment when you succeed if you don’t give up.”