Elon Musk and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Elon Musk met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday to discuss ways in which Tesla and SpaceX, both run by Musk, could aid Turkey in some ambitious projects the country is undertaking.
Erdogan, who last year sought to punish a German comedian for making fun of him, met with Musk at a presidential palace complex in the capital Ankara.
Among the topics of discussion were electric cars, sustainable energy and the launching of satellites. In fact, Musk was there to formalize a deal that will see SpaceX launch two communications satellites built for Turkey by Airbus.
“Our friends decided to launch our satellites with the Falcon 9 rockets of Airbus’ subcontractor, SpaceX,” Turkish Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said on Thursday during a meeting between Turkish communications firms and Airbus.
It is less clear if there will be any involvement between Tesla and Turkish firms. We do know, however, that Turkey plans to launch a national car brand and that hybrid and electric powertrains are being investigated.
Only a week ago, five Turkish firms formed a joint venture for the national car brand. At the time, Erdogan said the joint venture expects the first prototypes to be ready in 2019 and the first sales to take place in 2021.