Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 15:53 IST
New York, United States of America (USA)
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Tesla CEO Elon Musk to establish a factory in Turkey during a meeting in New York, Erdogan’s office said Monday. Erdogan, who is in the US to attend the UN General Assembly in New York, also discussed cooperation between space giant SpaceX and Turkey’s space program, the Turkish president’s office said.
The statement said Erdogan told the owner of the electric carmaker that Turkey would welcome cooperation on artificial intelligence and Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet service. Musk said SpaceX wanted to secure the necessary license to offer Starlink in Turkey. Images of the meeting showed Musk holding one of his sons as he talked to Erdogan.
Erdogan and Musk have held a series of meetings both in Turkey and on the sidelines of international forums. During Sunday’s meeting, the Turkish President also invited the Tesla CEO to attend the Turkish aerospace and technology festival Teknofest in Izmir at the end of this month.
Currently, Tesla has six giga factories around the world, including two outside the United States. Several countries have expressed interest in having a Tesla factory. Turkish President’s lobbying efforts follow those undertaken by French President Emmanuel Macron, who met Musk in June, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacir, who attended the meeting, said Musk described Turkey as “among the most important candidates for Tesla investment.”
This meeting came a day ahead of Musk’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California. Their talks would focus on artificial intelligence technology. “I will start this visit in California where I intend to meet the current leader of the most dramatic development in the new age and perhaps in general, Elon Musk,” Netanyahu posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, which Musk owns.
“I will discuss artificial intelligence with him and I will also work toward encouraging him to invest in Israel in the coming years. He is, to a large degree, paving the way that will change the face of humanity and also the face of the State of Israel,” he said before his departure for the US.
(With AP inputs)