Three years ago, a guy who made headlines in Turkey by flying with a big umbrella driven by strong winds stated his ambition to become an astronaut and “the first Turk to go into space.”
In March 2019, footage of a Turkish man named Sadik Kocadalli airborne while attempting to secure himself on the base of an umbrella circulated on social media due to severe winds and record storms across the country.
At the time, Kocadall was called “Turkey’s First Astronaut.” The title may be coming true now that he has declared his goal to become the country’s first astronaut ready to explore space.
His announcement came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this week that the government is seeking a civilian to travel on a research trip to the International Space Station. Applications are being taken until June 23 for the project, an important part of the country’s space program. The mission is expected to launch in 2023.
“We are now famous in Turkiye’s agenda”, Kocadalli said in an interview with Ihsan News Agency (INA). “Our President is choosing some of the Turks to go to space. I also became famous as a flying man. Now I want to go to space, too. It would be good if Mr President sends me to space as well.”
“Some of my criteria fit, and some do not, but we will try to make the criteria that do not meet,” he added.
In the interview with INA, the first Turkish astronaut-to-be admitted that he might not fit all of the criteria, but he did gain the approval of his pal, vegetable merchant Mehmet Sabap.
“I also support my friend. Let him go to space.”