Turkey - Country Commercial Guide
Civilian Aerospace, Technology & Equipment
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Türkiye is an aerospace hub for markets in Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and North Africa. Given Türkiye’s proximity to developed and emerging markets (over 50 countries are within a three-hour flight from Istanbul), as well as Istanbul’s role as a financial center, Türkiye’s aviation and aerospace sectors are poised for continued growth. Due to the expansion of private airlines, the number of domestic and international flights has increased significantly over the past decade, leading to a surge in total passenger and cargo traffic.

Airline passengers in Türkiye exceeded 182 million in 2022, an increase of over 42% from the previous year. In 2022, total cargo traffic increased to 4.1 million tons, compared to 3.4 million tons in 2021.

The completion of the new Istanbul Airport in April 2019 and the closing of Ataturk Airport after decades of service was a major milestone for Türkiye’s aviation sector. Total passenger traffic at İstanbul Airport in 2023 increased to 95 million from 37 million in 2022. Istanbul Airport has become Europe’s busiest passenger airport and currently ranks second globally in hub connections. Sabiha Gokcen, Istanbul’s other airport, served 30 million passengers in 2022. The Istanbul Airport has a more than 90-million passenger capacity and, with its triple simultaneous take-off and landing capability, is expected to grow to become the world’s busiest airport.

New private airlines, including low-cost airlines, have emerged in recent years. Maintenance, repair, and overhaul services have grown in Türkiye, with several new MRO centers recently established in Istanbul. Turkish HABOM, based in Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport, is a large MRO facility consisting of a Turkish Airlines (THY)–Technic joint venture for wide and narrow-body aircraft repair and maintenance. Sabiha Gokcen also hosts an engine repair shop and various other MRO facilities of varying size and scale. Growth in the aviation sector has contributed to a significant increase in the number of flight destinations with and outside of Türkiye. Airlines within Türkiye fly to 51 domestic destinations from seven hubs and to 262 international destinations in 124 countries. THY flies to the most destinations nonstop from a single airport. There are more than 55 countries within narrow-body reach, which makes Istanbul a natural global aviation hub. THY currently has 419 aircraft and holds around 5.2% of the global market. Turkish MRO companies like THY Technic, Pegasus Technic, and others are also competing to increase their share of the MRO market and expand their customer portfolios.

Overall growth in the aviation market has also been buoyed by the private jet market. Currently there are 120 private jets owned by businesses and 51 air taxi operators.  These numbers are expected to increase. Türkiye is now one of the fastest-growing markets in private jet usage.

The government has prioritized growth of the aviation sector, as evidenced by a variety of incentives to attract both customers and airlines. As low-cost airlines have become more popular, regulations pertaining to fares have been revised, and discounts in airport service, landing, and passenger fees, as well as tax reductions for ticket fares and jet fuel, have been implemented. THY is 50.88% publicly traded, with the remaining 49.12% of shares owned by the Turkish Sovereign Wealth Fund. The airline has recently signed several bilateral service agreements. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is active in the international arena. Construction of new airports and aviation infrastructure continues.

Space Programs

The Turkish Space Agency (TUA) was established in December 2018 to develop technologies for rocket launches and space exploration, as well as coordinate all commercial space activities. Although the agency reports to the Ministry of Industry and Technology, it has financial and administrative autonomy. TUA coordinates space efforts for relevant Turkish entities by streamlining their activities and serving as the main point of contact for international organizations. TUA coordinates GoT-funded space research center activities, as well as those of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Roketsan (Türkiye’s leading rocket producer), and Turksat (semi-private satellite organization).

In 2021, Türkiye allocated nearly $1 billion to its space program. This program consists of ten targets, including a lunar mission in 2023, the centennial of the Republic of Türkiye. In 2022, the TUA signed an agreement with U.S. company Axiom Space to send the first Turkish astronaut to space as part of a larger program for Türkiye to expand its space exploration capabilities.

Türkiye’s involvement in the space sector is primarily in the realm of satellites, software development, and ground station technologies. Türkiye’s space sector is heavily import reliant, specifically at the component level. Although Türkiye has some design capability, it relies on imports for smaller components such as chips, circuits, and heat-resistant materials. U.S., Canadian, European, and Asian companies are the leading suppliers of these components. Turksat 6A, the first domestically designed and manufactured telecommunications satellite, is expected to be launched in 2024. Upon completion of the Turksat 6A, Türkiye will join just ten countries with communication satellite production capabilities.

Türkiye currently has five communication satellites (Turksat 3A, 4A, 4B, 5A, and 5B) and three reconnaissance satellites (RASAT, GOKTURK 1 and 2) in orbit and actively in service. The latter serve the Turkish Military and various government agencies. TUBITAK and Turksat also have ongoing satellite projects of various types and scale.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Aircraft / aircraft parts
  • MRO activities
  • Satellites and launch services
  • Civil aviation and air traffic control systems


The Turkish aerospace market is heavily import-reliant, particularly for air platforms and related equipment. U.S. companies have the largest share of this market (followed by European and Japanese competitors), providing a wide range of aircraft, helicopters, and other air platforms, as well as subassemblies, aircraft parts/components, landing systems, radar systems, x-ray and scanning equipment, ground control equipment, safety/security systems, communications equipment, runway and landing lighting, automated landing systems, avionics, and more. The build-operate-transfer (BOT) model is the preferred airport development model. The State Airports Authority (DHMI) remains the largest procurement authority for air traffic control equipment, navigation aids, airport infrastructure, and airport security systems.

For further information on this section or more on potential opportunities, contact:

Ceren Okumus

Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service Türkiye