TUBITAK National Observatory (TUG) is located at an altitude of 2500 m, on the top of Bakirlitepe mountain in Saklikent region of the city of Antalya which is located on the Mediterranian coast of Türkiye. It resides in a longitudinally important region, because there is no other active observatory along and around this longitude on which TUG is located. Besides it fills a significant gap, on the map from far east to the west of Europe. It deserves to point out that the Observatory site is exceptionally good in terms of climatologic conditions.
Official opening of the Observatory took place on the 5th of September, 1997.
The first telescope mounted was 40 cm (T40) aperture one, started to operate in January 1997. This was followed by 150 cm aperture, Russian Turkish Telescope (RTT150) and started to operate in September 2001. Gradually the number of telescopes has increased. Today (2015) four active telescopes are being operated at the site; the largest being RTT150 followed by a T100 fully automated, T60 and 45 cm ROTSE III-d robotic telescopes. Two more new robotic telescopes will be in operation soon.
Telescopes are kept working for astronomers by the TUG technical personnel. TUG's vision is “To be one of the pioneer institutions in astronomy and space sciences”; thus to comply with our vision scientists, engineers and technical staff in TUG have the responsibility to develope observational research capabilities in the observatory.
TUG is open for international collaborations. There are already ongoing collaborations between TUG and Russia, TUG and Japan and TUG and USA; and time quota on each of the three telescopes (RTT150, T100 and T60) to follow GAIA alerts transmitted to TUG has been allocated.
TUG telescopes also contribute successfully to the education and training of young astronomers by offering an opportunity to successful senior students in universities to work at the Observatory for a week or so.
Besides research and training activities, TUG feels the responsibility of creating awareness in astronomy and space sciences. In this context, TUG regularly organizes a yearly star fest at Saklikent/Antalya, and gives service to students and public twice in a week throughout the year at the community center near the administration building in Antalya.