‘Security of Turkey’s data as important as its borders’

The security of data and electronic systems is as important as the country's border security, Turkey’s president said Monday.

"Trying to provide data security with foreign solutions means leaving border security to foreign soldiers," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in the Turkish capital Ankara at the opening ceremony of the new national agency to protect against cyber-attacks.

Saying that information and technology is the world’s fastest-growing sector, he stressed that over the last 17 years, the sector's value in Turkey rose from 20 billion liras ($3.3 billion) to 132 billion Turkish lira (nearly $22 billion).

"In 2019 we saw over 136,000 cyber-attacks against Turkey, up from less than 9,000 in 2016," he said, adding that recently Turkey has been among the countries most targeted by cyber-attacks.

The way to fight the attacks, done with smart systems, is developing and using smarter systems, he said, comparing using conventional methods against cyber-attacks with trying to block bullets with paper.

Our aim is a Turkey that invents, designs, develops, and produces technology, rather than only consuming it, he said.

Turkey is stepping up work for a national solution for data security, and officials are being told to take needed steps immediately, he added.

Noting that Turkey will send Turksat 5A into space at the end of the year and Turksat 5B in 2021, Erdogan said Turksat 6A, Turkey's first indigenously produced communications satellite, will be operational by 2022.

"This will make Turkey one of the 10 countries in the world that are able to produce communication satellites," he added.

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