The 3rd International Islamic Union Congress with the theme “ASRIKA Joint Defense Industry Production” was held on 19-20 December 2019 at Pullman Hotel Istanbul Convention Center, in cooperation with The Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW), Justice Defenders Strategic Studies Center Association (ASSAM), and Uskudar University. The congress was attended by representatives from civil societies, military leaders and expert academicians from many countries.
The event started with recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by discussion on the establishment of Joint Military Standardization Centers in Islamic countries. Other topics explored by the congress are, determination of cooperation among Islamic countries, usage of defense products by Islamic countries, determination of defense industry products and its development.
In his opening speech, the Chairman of ASSAM and also the Chief Advisor to the President of Republic of Turkey, Mr. Adnan Tanriverdi, stated that one of the main criteria of a country’s sovereignty and independence from foreign power are the possession of weaponry, wholly owned by that country. He said, “National interests cannot be protected by someone else’s weapon. No state can guarantee security, peace and prosperity in their country, while depending on others’ weapon. No state can be regarded as a sovereign of their country, if their weapons are being held by another country. That state also could not go against the interest of the foreign country that produced their weapons.”
After the opening speech, the congress resumed with speeches by the Deputy Minister of Treasury and Finance, Mr Nureddin Nebati; Chairman of Religious Affairs Department, Prof. Dr. Ali Erbas; Deputy Secretary General of UNIW, Mr Eyup Akbal; Rector of Kutahya Dumlupinar University, Dr. Kazim Uysal; Sancaktepe Mayor, Mr Seyma Dogucu; and Mayor of Bahcelievler, Mr Hakan Bahadir.
Highlighting the success of Turkey’s defense industry, Turkey’s Deputy Finance Minister, Mr Nureddin Nebati said, “When AK Party got into power in 2002, Turkey has almost no power in the defense industry. Today, we have become one of the world’s leading countries in defense industry, all in a short period of 17 years. Back then, we only produced 20% of our national weaponry. Now, the rate is almost 70%. We also have 4 companies among the top 100 companies in the world. These four companies did not solely operate in Turkey. They also had made leading cooperation with many Muslim countries.”
Then, the Chairman of Religious Affairs, Prof. Dr. Ali Erbas stated that Islamic countries are going through difficult times; “Today, our world are going through one of the most difficult period in its history, in terms of social, cultural, political and economic challenges. Every ideology and policies that claim to improve our prosperity, peace and sense of justice, all of them had lost their credibility. Over the last two centuries, the Islamic communities had suffered much under colonialism and intervention of foreign powers in their domestic affairs. The only way to solve these crises of humanity, social, cultural, spiritual and political in nature, are by reverting to the universal truth of life, that is Islam. For that reason, it is crucial that Muslims tackle the problems in realistic and convincing manner, starting from their domestic issues.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Secretary General of UNIW, Mr Eyup Akbal in his speech said, “I am delighted to be here at ASRICA Joint Defense Industry Production Congress. We came here from different countries but in fact we are members of a single ummah. The Islamic world needs more unity and solidarity than ever before in its history. Three letters of elifs when it is placed randomly, will only amounted as three. But, if it were to be standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder on a straight line, it becomes one hundred and eleven in strength and value.”
The congress ended with a resolution meeting held at the second day.