IEEE GRSS Turkey Chapter was founded in 2012, following the flagship conference IGARSS 2012 in Munich. The founding executive committee members of the GRSS Turkey Chapter were: Chair Kadim Taşdemir (Antalya International University), Vice-Chair Esra Erten (Istanbul Technical University), Secretary Gülşen Taşkın Kaya (Istanbul Technical University), and Treasurer Mehmet Kurum (TÜBİTAK BİLGEM).
GRSS Turkey Chapter started its activities in 2012 with a GRSS Distinguished Lecturer Program at Istanbul Technical University. The invited lecturer, Prof. Lorenzo Bruzzone from the University of Trento in Italy, gave an illuminating talk titled “Current scenario and challenges in the analysis of multitemporal remote sensing images”.
The next year, GRSS Turkey Chapter Chair Kadim Taşdemir has co-chaired a special session on “Remote Sensing Image Analysis” in Signal Processing and Communications Applications Conference (SIU) 2013 where fourteen papers on remote sensing and geosciences were presented. This special session was co-chaired by Begüm Demir from the University of Trento in Italy.
Also in 2013, Prof. Melba Crawford from Purdue University was hosted as an invited speaker in Istanbul at the 6th International Conference on Recent Advancements on Space Technologies (RAST’2013), which was technically co-sponsored by GRSS. Prof. Crawford gave an invited talk titled “IEEE GRSS and Remote Sensing Technologies: Accomplishments and Challenges for the next Decade“.
In 2014, the special session in SIU was expanded due to numerous requests from researchers, and the First Workshop on Remote Sensing Signal and Image Processing was organized at Signal Processing and Communications Applications Conference (SIU) 2014 in Trabzon, co-chaired again by Begüm Demir & Kadim Taşdemir, and partially sponsored by TÜBİTAK Uzay. Despite being the first workshop of its field in Turkey, 49 submissions were received, of which, 38 papers selected by technical committee were presented. In this workshop, “TÜBİTAK Uzay Best Student Paper Award” was also presented, to H. G. Akçay and S. Aksoy from Bilkent University for their contribution “Detection of Compound Structures Using Multiple Hierarchical Segmentations”. Prof. Gustau Camps-Valls from Universitat de València, Spain, was hosted, with his enlightening talk entitled “Advances in Kernel Methods for Remote Sensing Image Processing”. As a social event, the workshop attendees had a dinner at Zigana Tent with the invited speaker and GRSS members, and enjoyed the local cuisine of Trabzon after a fruitful workshop leading to information exchange and future collaborations.
An important aspect of our activities in 2014 was “Earth Observation Applications Summer School (Uydu Yer Gözlem Uygulamaları Yaz Okulu- UYGU 2014)”, organized by IEEE GRSS Turkey Chapter and TÜBİTAK BİLGEM, and hosted by TÜBİTAK BİLGEM at its facilities in Gebze, Kocaeli, in the dates of 23-27 June 2014. The summer school program was intense to cover basic information in different areas of remote sensing. Our lecturers from Turkey (S. Aksoy, E. Alparslan, A. Ç. Aydınoğlu, S. Erturk, E. Erten, M. Kurum, U. Sakarya, A. Şan, K. Taşdemir, G. Taşkın-Kaya, and M. Yeşilyurt) from various Universities and organizations contributed on a voluntary basis to promote the fields of remote sensing and geosciences among graduate student and researcher attendees. Additionally, Eric Pottier from the University of Rennes was invited through GRSS Distinguished Lecturer Program, and gave a half-day lecture on SAR Polarimetry. Moreover, we had C. Stewart from ESA-ESRIN/RSAC to present ESA EO Applications and Copernicus program; and B. Osmanoğlu from NASA GSFC for SAR Intereferometry. As a social event of the summer school, we had a relaxing dinner by the Bosphorus (connecting Europe and Asia Continents) with our invited lecturers. The summer school had an exceptional reception with more than 110 applications in various disciplines. From this large number, only 40 attendees (MS/PhD students) could be accpted, due to space constraints. It was an outstanding summer school (rated 4.7 over 5 by the attendees) thanks to high interest of the attendees combined with the enthusiasm of the lecturers, and excellent local arrangements (accommodation, transportation, meals, refreshments) by TÜBİTAK BİLGEM.
In 2015, the second Workshop on Remote Sensing Signal and Image Processing was organized at Signal Processing and Communications Applications Conference (SIU) 2015 in Malatya, co-chaired again by Begüm Demir & Kadim Taşdemir. Prof. Paolo Gamba from Pavia University, Italy, was the invited speaker for the Workshop, and Prof. Gamba gave a great presentation titled “The Challenge (and Opportunities) To Map Urban Areas At The National Level”.
In 2016, the third Workshop on Remote Sensing Signal and Image Processing was organized again by Begüm Demir & Kadim Taşdemir at Signal Processing and Communications Applications Conference (SIU) 2016 in Zonguldak. Prof. Jose M. Bioucas-Dias from Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal was the invited speaker, and his lecture was titled “Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Data Analysis”.
The second “Earth Observation Applications Summer School Uydu Yer Gözlem Uygulamaları Yaz Okulu – UYGU 2016)”, was organized by IEEE GRSS Turkey Chapter in June 2016. The summer school was funded by IEEE GRSS and hosted in the campus of Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in the dates of 13-16 June 2016. The theme of the summer school was multidimensional image processing: hyperspectral & radar. Othmar Frey from ETHZ, Switzerland, Mauro Dalla Mura from GIPSA-Lab, France, and Devis Tuia from UZH, Switzerland were the international invited lecturers. Ufuk Sakarya from TÜBİTAK Uzay, Kadim Taşdemir from Antalya International University, Prof. Dr. A. Aydın Alatan from Middle East Technical University, Esra Erten from Istanbul Technical University, Koray Kayabol from Gebze Technical University, Oğuz Güngör from Karadeniz Technical University, and Alp Ertürk and Sarp Ertürk from Kocaeli University were the national lecturers. The summer school had over 300 applications, from the attendees had to be limited to 40. The applicants were not only MSc. and Phd. students from various universities in Turkey, but also some applicants were from over 30 Public Institutes and 5 Private Sector Firms. At the end of the summer school an evaluation was performed by the attendees and the summer school was deemed a great opportunity and success.
In 2017, the fourth Workshop on Remote Sensing Signal and Image Processing was organized by Begüm Demir from Trento University, Italy and Alp Ertürk from Kocaeli University, who served as the Secretary & Treasurer of IEEE GRSS Turkey Chapter. The Workshop was organized at Signal Processing and Communications Applications Conference (SIU) 2017 in Antalya. Claudio Persello from the University of Twente, Netherlands was the invited speaker with his talk titled “Machine Learning for the Analysis of Remotely Sensed Data: Applications and Challenges”.
In 2018, IEEE GRSS Turkey Chapter, in collaboration with IEEE GRSS France and IEEE GRSS Germany Chapters, organized the third Satellite Earth Observation Applications (Uydu Yer Gözlem Uygulamaları – UYGU) summer school, with the theme “Hyperspectral Image Processing”, hosted by Gebze Technical University. Jocelyn Chanussot and Maura Dalla Mura from the GIPSA-Lab, University of Grenoble Alpes, France, Paul Scheunders from the Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Belgium, Begüm Demir from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, and Pedram Ghamisi from the Technical University of Munich, Germany were the international invited lecturers. Filiz Sunar from Istanbul Technical University, Yasemin Yardımcı Çetin from Middle East Technical University, Koray Kayabol and Erchan Aptoula from Gebze Technical University, and Seniha Esen Yüksel from Hacettepe University were the national invited lecturers.