Erdogan asks Musk to set up Tesla factory in Turkey

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan invited Elon Musk to build a Tesla factory in Turkey, and discussed potential cooperation on SpaceX’s Starlink and AI technology, during a meeting in the Turkish House in New York.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday asked Tesla (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk to build a Tesla factory in Turkey, the country's communications directorate said on Monday.

During a high-profile meeting at the Turkish House, a skyscraper positioned near the United Nations in New York, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Tesla CEO Elon Musk embarked on substantial discussions revolving around potential collaborative ventures including the establishment of a Tesla factory in Turkey and cooperation on artificial intelligence and SpaceX’s Starlink project, according to the country's communications directorate.

Erdogan reportedly urged Musk to consider Turkey as a favorable destination for Tesla's next production facility. The request comes amidst Tesla's aggressive global expansion, with plants mushrooming in various parts of the world including a recently initiated project in Mexico.

The Turkish Communications Directorate revealed that Musk acknowledged the significant contribution of Turkish suppliers who are already integrated into Tesla's supply chain, recognizing Turkey as a potent candidate for hosting the next Tesla factory. However, Tesla remains tight-lipped and hasn't responded to media inquiries seeking comments on this development.

Furthermore, the conversation between the two stalwarts expanded to cover avenues of cooperation in the spheres of artificial intelligence and the Starlink project, an ambitious satellite internet venture under Musk's aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, SpaceX. According to the official communications, SpaceX is keen on collaborating with Turkish authorities to secure the essential licenses for offering satellite services in Turkey.

In a gesture to foster ties between Tesla and the Turkish government, Erdogan invited Musk to grace the Teknofest, a prestigious aerospace and technology festival scheduled to be held in Izmir at the end of September. Musk reciprocated positively, expressing his willingness to attend the event gladly.

On a broader spectrum, Musk is on a meeting spree, slated to confer with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California later on Monday, with discussions predicted to concentrate on developments in artificial intelligence technology.

On the business front, Tesla has been riding a wave of success with its shares skyrocketing by 123% within this year. The automaker recently celebrated a milestone of producing its 5 millionth car over the weekend. Meanwhile, Musk, who acquired the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) last year, continues to navigate the complex waters of content censorship in Turkey, sometimes complying with the government's directives while resisting in certain instances.

As Tesla seeks to finalize the location for its new factory by year's end, Turkey emerges as a prominent contender, potentially heralding a new phase in the nation's technological and industrial growth.

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