During the Cyprus crisis in 1964, certain allied countries tried to raise difficulties for Turkey’s use of defensive equipment purchased from these countries for its national interests. This revealed the drawbacks of dependence on other countries for meeting defensive needs even if they are allies, and the need to meet defensive needs by domestic means without any doubt, laying the foundations of the policies intended for establishment of the infrastructure of a self-sufficient defense industry. Having been established in 1965, “Turkish Naval Society” directed the efforts of “Build Your Own Ship” campaign particularly for building landing ships. Similarly, “Turkish Air Force Support Foundation” was founded to develop our aviation industry in 1970.
Turkey encountered an arms embargo after Cyprus Peace Operation in 1974, and took the first steps for a modern national defense industry in order to reduce the negative effects of the embargo. “Turkish Land Force Support Foundation” was established in the same year. The great public enthusiasm of those years encouraged a significant amount of donation to newly-established Land, Naval and Air Force Support Foundations and paved the way for ratification of laws that allows such foundations to generate private revenues.
In order to reduce foreign dependency in defense industry, investments were made in defense industry when Turkish Aircraft Industries Corporation (TAI) was founded under the Ministry of Industry and Technology in 1973, which was followed by establishment of companies such as ASELSAN (1975), ISBIR (1978), ASPILSAN (1981), and HAVELSAN (1982) by the foundations mentioned above.
Land, Naval and Air Force Support Foundations that were established in that period to for using modern technology to develop defense system and products of Turkish Armed Forces with the donations of our Supreme Nation were united as Turkish Armed Forces Foundation under the Law no. 3388 on 17 June 1987, and the foundation started its operations on 26 September 1987.
ROKETSAN was founded in 1988 to design, develop and produce rockets in Turkey.
General Directorate of TAFF started operating in TAI building. Then, in 1997, it moved to the building that was built on the land donated by our late donator Zehra URGA. It has been operating in the building of the General Directorate of the Foundation located on Paris Street in Ankara since 26 September 1997.
TAFF has made and continues to make strategic investments in the national defense industry from the day it was established. The foundation manages its investments effectively, making each of them both domestic and national companies that have a significant place in global and national domain. Today;
– ASELSAN has become an electronics giant with its original products,
– TAI has become the pioneer of the field of aerospace and satellites in Turkey,
– ROKETSAN has become the only designer and manufacturer of rocket systems in Turkey,
– HAVELSAN has become the software, informatics and system integration leader of Turkey,
– ISBIR, provides power generators and alternators for important defense and public projects,
– ASPILSAN has gained the capability of manufacturing original battery and battery pack products for important defense industry systems.
TAFF, being the Foundation of the Great Turkish Nation, supervises and governs its direct and indirect 39 companies, being 6 subsidiaries, 7 affiliates and 24 Indirect Subsidiaries of which the TAFF is the main shareholder.