Bergama is a town of 200,000 people in the western hills of Turkey with a tremendous mass of ancient history. About 2,400 years ago, when the place was regarded as Pergamum, Alexander the Great swept the city upon his conquests, giving Cleopatra its legendary library. After that, as the Romans took over, because of its enlightened past, Pliny the Elder called it “the most famous and magnificent city of the Asia Minor.”

Bergama’s bounty of historical sites has been attracting in throngs of visitors for years. But for much of that time the deficiency in choices beyond the tourist trade implied that when the young people of Bergama looked to the future, they looked elsewhere.

Bora Hodo, an engineer at the plant and a Bergama native, said that that standpoint changed in 2017, as LM Wind Power, who was known as a division of GE Renewable Energy, created a wind turbine blade manufacturing facility there.

The factory creates wind turbine blades for domestic use and export, currently hiring more than 480 people, with an expansion underway that will encourage the workforce by two-thirds.

Photo by Thomas Richter / Unsplash

Hodo said that LM Wind Power gave us hope for our young people because, in the past, they hadn’t thought about getting a good education, they hadn’t had any career plans. Then, they were thinking about careers, they wanted to be engineers.

As he was a teenager, Hodo took much of the same path as many other Bergama kids. Being the son of schoolteachers, he did part-time jobs as a tour guide, to some extent, to make his command of English better. Then, he arrived at Izmir for college, a city of 4 million people 50 miles southwest, and studied Engineering. After that, working in Istanbul, Hodo planned on going back to Izmir as he learned of LM Wind Power’s plans to open a plant in Bergama.

The Bergama plant was the first spot LM Wind Power opened after GE Renewable Energy obtained the company in 2017. Worldwide, about 1 in 5 turbine blades — more than 215,000 — have been created by LM Wind Power. They have the comparative capacity to produce almost 102 gigawatts (GW), marginally more than the U.K.’s entire generating capacity.

The Turkish government has always put renewable energy on the first of its list since 2014. A news report by the state-run Anadolu Agency stated that the Turkish government had invested more than $11 billion in the sector.