Turkey gets new defense procurement chief

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s president has appointed a new official to oversee all defense procurement programs, following recent elections that saw Recep Tayyip Erdoğan maintain his position in government.

Haluk Gorgun will replace Ismail Demir for the job. Gorgun is currently the board chairman of Turkey’s largest defense company, Aselsan.

Demir reportedly wanted to quit, citing a preference for a job with nondefense portfolio. During nine years on the job, Demir had overseen several Turkish programs, notable indigenous efforts for developing drones, corvettes, helicopters, a new-generation main battle tank and a fighter jet.

Born in Istanbul in 1973, Gorgun graduated from Istanbul’s Yildiz University. His postgraduate studies took place at the U.S.-based Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and he earned his doctorate from Connecticut University.

Gorgun lectured at Yildiz where, in 2013, he became a professor. Between 2014 and 2018 he served as president of the Gebze University in Turkey. In the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 he was elected to be university professor of the year in Turkey, particularly due to his efforts to establish sustainable relations between academia and industry.

In March 2017, Gorgun became a board member of Aselsan, and in April 2018 he became head of the board.