Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) was established to build F-16 aircraft. At that time, TAI was owned as part of a joint venture with Lockheed Martin. The partnership was intended to go for 25 years, but both parties decided to renegotiate the terms and they parted amicably and TAI was 100-per-cent nationalised in January 2005.

Muharrem Dörtkaşlı, President and CEO of TAI, has been with the organisation for more than 20 years and has seen the company go through numerous changes to become the global organisation it is today. “I am a mechanical engineer by profession. TAI and its development have been significant factors in my professional career. I started working for Turkish Aircraft Industries, Inc. [!tusa!] in 1991 as a program control office leader, continued as Deputy General Manager between 1997 and 2003, and was promoted to the General Manager position in March 2003.

“There were a number of studies by us and other partners to enhance the local aerospace industry, and forming a new consolidated company was the outcome of these studies. In this vision, TUSA? and TAI were merged into one company and I was entrusted as the President and CEO of the company in October 2005. I have been in the same position since then and I am still trying to support the development of the aerospace industry in Turkey.”