Haluk Bayraktar is the CEO of Baykar, Turkey’s premiere autonomous technology company. Haluk began his tenure at Baykar in 2004 as an engineering manager when Baykar’s autonomous technology efforts were still nascent. He has since been involved in every aspect of the business: from engineering to project management to logistics support and business development.

Haluk is also one of the founders of the Turkey Technology Team (T3) Foundation, an initiative intended to foster technology education among Turkish youth through entrepreneurship, competitions, and supplementary technology education.

Additionally, Haluk was one of the founders and a chairman of the board of Turkey’s Aerospace and Defense Cooperative (SAHA Istanbul), which includes over 400 companies.

Haluk is a graduate of Middle East Technical University in Industrial Engineering and Columbia University in Financial Engineering. He is an avid fisher, frequently appears on Turkish television and at university conferences, but above all he enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three children.

CEO, Baykar Defense

  • Grew employee headcount from under 10 to over 700, converting Baykar from an automotive SME to a world-class leader in developing unmanned aerial technologies
  • Co-developed all unmanned systems, handling multiplicity of functions in the product development lifecycle from design to build
  • Organized investment and business development activities
  • Established digital transformation and supply chain system for Baykar

Chairman, SAHA (Turkish Defense Cluster)

  • Co-founder and Chairman of the Board since 2017
  • Largest industrial cluster in Turkey, including more than 400 companies and 11 universities
  • 2nd biggest within European Aerospace Cluster Partnership
  • Coordinated top tier aerospace and defense companies with many subsidiary companies for business development. Established programs for B2B meetings and organizations
  • Organized SAHA EXPO defense exhibition in Istanbul, hosting over 13,000 registrants
  • Started Industrial Competence Evaluation and Support Program (EYDEP), Mini MBA for professional sector leaders
  • Initiated many industrial innovation network hub projects

Chairman, Black Sea Shield

  • Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
  • Established venture between Baykar and state-owned Ukrspecexport to enhance and to create synergy between the aerospace & defense sectors of Turkey and Ukraine
  • Strategically directs technology efforts across a variety of systems from engines to missiles and more

Chairman, Turkey Technology Team (T3)

  • Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
  • Established Maker Technology Workshops (Deneyap) for Turkish youth.
  • Initiated the vision to ensure all Turkish cities (today at 12 and counting) had high schools with kits to enable supplementary learning in robotics, coding, artificial intelligence, electronics, cyber security, internet of things
  • Established Teknofest 2019, the world’s biggest aerospace & technology festival that was attended by over 1.72 million people in just the second year
  • Crafted the vision for Bilim Usküdar, the first science center in Istanbul, which opened in 2018
  • Worked on “1001 Technology Teams”, designed to provide resources for aspiring teams in high school and university to ensure their projects see the light of day
  • Established T3 Startup center program to promote budding entrepreneurs in Turkey

Co-Founder, Cezeri AI

  • Artificial Intelligence startup focusing on civilian tech from autonomous vehicles to flying tech
  • Providing leadership to ensure Turkey gets a head start in the next industrial phase of automation

Board Member, Tubitak (Turkish Science & Technology Research Foundation)

  • Worked on directing Foundation’s resources to small and medium sized businesses, outside their traditional focus within academia and large corporate entities
  • Broadened the scope and democratized TUBITAK activity to access more primary schools and public institutions than before