First Turkish astronaut arrives in Türkiye

Türkiye's first astronaut, Alper Gezeravcı, arrived in the country on Feb. 12, a few days after returning to Earth and completing his two-week mission in space.

After landing at Esenboğa Airport in the capital Ankara following health checks in the U.S., he was welcomed by Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır, Yusuf Kıraç, the president of the Turkish Space Agency (TUA), Hasan Mandal, the head of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK) and Tuva Cihangir Atasever, Türkiye's second astronaut.

Gezeravcı gave the 13 Turkish flags that he took to the International Space Station (ISS) and brought back to Earth for the children who welcomed the astronaut at the airport.

Answering the questions of the press members in a joint press conference with Kacır, Gezeravcı said, "I am here with the happiness of reaching our goal," noting that the country's first manned space mission is not "a point of arrival."

"This was just a beginning. It was not a story of arriving somewhere. This success is the success of a child from every household in Türkiye. Although we have not had a mission in this field in our history, we had a great preparation process with such a perfect synergy," he expressed.

"I felt once again that we should be grateful for the blessings the world has given us. It is a wonderful opportunity to look at this wonderful beauty from the outside," Gezeravcı added.

Upon a question on his health condition and adaptation process following his return, the astronaut noted he did not create any expectations in his mind about his health condition, "neither during the departure nor during the return."

"Without any problems I was able to adapt to the possibility of moving in zero...

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