The world's largest aviation, space and technology event TEKNOFEST, which has drawn millions of visitors since it was first held in 2018, kicks off today, Thursday, in Istanbul for the seventh time.
The festival features numerous events such as technology competitions, air shows, concerts, and seminars.
TEKNOFEST aims to boost interest in technology in Türkiye. The inaugural fair attracted some half a million visitors while the 2019 fair welcomed 1.72 million, which is a world record for an aviation-themed event.
Held in Istanbul in 2018 and 2019, the first TEKNOFEST outside of Istanbul was hosted by Türkiye’s southeastern province of Gaziantep in 2020, but it was held virtually due to pandemic restrictions.
In 2021, TEKNOFEST returned to the Turkish commercial capital of Istanbul.
Last year, hosted by the Black Sea province of Samsun, it was visited by 1.25 million people.
The event's first international version was also held last year in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital.
Tens of thousands of competitors and teams have been applying to the event since 2018 in dozens of categories.
As part of the Turkish Republic's centenary celebrations this year, Teknofest was planned for Izmir, Istanbul, and the capital Ankara.
The event in Izmir, slated for March, however, was canceled due to the devastating Feb. 6 earthquakes.
While the Istanbul edition will kick off on Thursday, it will open its doors in the capital Ankara on Aug. 30.
This year, over one million competitors applied to take part.
In 2023, the organizers, the Turkish Technology Team Foundation (T3 Foundation) and Türkiye's Industry and Technology Ministry, will distribute monetary prizes totaling 13 million Turkish liras ($670,000) to winners.
It will also provide material support worth over 30 million Turkish liras ($1.55 million) to the participants.
The five-day event, introducing cutting-edge technologies and the latest defense products including drones, will also feature dazzling airshows.