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Hundreds of engineers exit Turkey’s largest defense contractor

PHOTO: NewsBeezer

The head of Turkish electronics defense contractor ASELSAN has confirmed the departure of some 200 engineers from the company, adding to the anxieties of a “brain drain” from the country.

Haluk Görgün recently said in a presentation at Hacettepe University that nearly 200 engineers have quit ASELSAN and left for private companies in Turkey or abroad.

The issue was brought to the parliament floor by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy İlhami Özcan, who is concerned about the brain drain in Turkey, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Friday. The CHP deputy criticized ASELSAN for ignoring the problem while stating that many of those engineers had started working in tech companies in the Netherlands.

In the beginning of January, The New York Times published a report on the exodus of wealthy or talented Turks, citing as reasons fear of political persecution, terrorism, a deepening distrust of the judiciary, arbitrariness of the rule of law and a deteriorating business climate, accelerated by worries that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is unsoundly manipulating management of the economy to benefit himself and his inner circle.

While the Times had claimed, referring to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), that more than a quarter of a million Turks emigrated in 2017, an official statement released by Turkish Presidency’s Human Resources Office refuted the claim and pointed out that the number provided by the Times report included non-Turkish citizens and that only 113,326 Turks had emigrated in 2017.

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