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Erdogan Invites Musk to Build Tesla Car Factory in Turkey

Tesla CEO Elon Musk in front of a white Tesla car
President Erdogan invited Musk to build a Tesla factory in Turkey. Credit: Maurizio Pesce / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has invited Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, to establish a Tesla factory in Turkey, according to the country’s communications directorate on Monday.

Musk mentioned that numerous Turkish suppliers are currently collaborating with Tesla, and he views Turkey as one of the top contenders for Tesla’s upcoming factory location.

At present, Tesla has not yet issued any official statement in response to this invitation.

The conversation between Erdogan and Musk took place during a meeting at the Turkish House (also called Turkevi Center), a tall building located near the United Nations in New York, as reported by Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency.

Erdogan is currently in the United States to participate in the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly. During their meeting, Erdogan also expressed Turkey’s willingness to collaborate on artificial intelligence and Starlink, which is SpaceX’s satellite internet project.

Musk mentioned that SpaceX is interested in working with Turkish authorities to acquire the required license for providing Starlink satellite services in Turkey, according to the communications directorate.

The communications directorate also mentioned that Erdogan extended an invitation to Musk to participate in the Turkish aerospace and technology festival known as Teknofest, scheduled to take place in Izmir at the end of September. Musk reportedly expressed his willingness to attend the event.

During the meeting, Musk was accompanied by his son, known as “Lil X,” which is quite unusual since the billionaire typically keeps his family life private.

This unexpected presence led to a somewhat awkward moment when Erdogan inquired about Musk’s wife. Musk responded by saying, “Oh she, she is in San Francisco. We are separated now. That’s why I take care of him mostly.”

Where would be Tesla’s next factory?

In March, Tesla confirmed its plans to establish a new electric car manufacturing plant in the northern state of Nuevo Leon in Mexico, reported InsideEVs.

Moreover, Tesla expressed its interest in constructing a factory in India aimed at producing affordable electric vehicles. This decision comes after years of discussions and negotiations with Indian authorities.

Tesla presently operates six factories and is in the process of constructing a seventh one in Mexico as part of its efforts to grow its presence worldwide. In May, Musk indicated that Tesla would likely decide on the location for a new factory by the end of this year.

Musk meets Israeli Prime Minister

Furthermore, Elon Musk had a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California on September 18.

The official agenda was to discuss artificial intelligence, with Netanyahu and Tesla CEO Elon Musk mostly agreeing on the importance of weighing the technology’s benefits against its societal risks.

Netanyahu said controlling more-advanced AI must start by getting like-minded states to agree to a code of ethics and conduct to foster the technology and “curb the curses.” He did, however, state that there will still be a need to “police the planet” against rogue actors.

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