Teknofest tech fair gathers 300,000 visitors in Azerbaijan

Event distributes awards of total $153,000.

Teknofest tech fair gathers 300,000 visitors in Azerbaijan

Turkiye's largest technology and aviation event Teknofest hosted 300,000 visitors in its Azerbaijan edition last week, according to a statement on Monday.

The four-day event kicked off on Thursday in the capital Baku's Crystal Hall arena, overlooking the Caspian Sea.

First held in Turkiye in 2018, Teknofest made its debut in Azerbaijan this year, officially expanding to the neighboring country.

The event included tech competitions in 10 different categories with a total award of 260,000 Azerbaijan manats (some $153,000).

The Turkish and Azerbaijani presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ilham Aliyev, joined the event along with other top officials from either country.

Aziz Sancar, a nobel laureate Turkish scientist, also participated in the event.

The Azerbaijani Air Force, Turkish Air Force's Turkish Stars team, and Solo Turk flew over the fair in aerobatic flight shows that have become a hallmark of the event.

On the entertainment side were a vertical wind tunnel, water attractions, flight simulators, and robots.

Fairgoers also got to see exhibits of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, and armored vehicles.

Major Turkish defense companies Aselsan, Baykar, Havelsan, Roketsan, STM, and TAI took part.

Selcuk Bayraktar, head of the festival and Baykar's chief technology officer, said at the closing event that they hope to organize Teknofest in the Azerbaijani capital again in future editions.

"Hopefully, we will tell the success stories of our startups from our technology competitions in the near future.

"After what I saw in Baku, I'm sure that the national technology move will be one of the most important goals of Azerbaijani young people."

The event's 2022 edition in Turkiye will be held in the country's Black Sea province of Samsun from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4.

Last year, Istanbul's Ataturk Airport hosted the event. Its site alternates every year between Istanbul and other Turkish cities.

Hüseyin Demir