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Erdogan – Musk: Censorship, Tesla, and… space companies

Erdogan – Musk: Censorship, Tesla, and… space companies

It’s November 2017…and the authorities are in turkey They commemorate the 79th anniversary of the death of the head of state Mustafa Kamal (1881-1938), in an environment not suitable for light celebrations.

Against the backdrop of the coup-like crisis that preceded it only a few months ago, in July 2016, Erdogan He “unsheaths his sword” against everything, just and unjust, at home and abroad, and unleashes threats in the form of anti-Western denunciations, anti-democratic purges, and arbitrary dictatorial detentions/hostages (remember the cases of Mr. Hashem). Andrew Branson And Serkan Golgiamong many others).

With a completely different spirit, as if taken from…another planet, oh Elon Musk He moved to Turkey in November 2017. The then 46-year-old businessman was internationally famous through his companies Tesla And SpaceXphotographed against the backdrop of Ataturk’s Mausoleum in Amy lady He uploads the relevant photo to his social media accounts, accompanied by a text praising Mustafa Kemal, who “fought for peace in the homeland, peace in the world.”

“If one day I say against science, choose science,” Musk wrote on Twitter on November 9, 2017, quoting a quote by Mustafa Kemal.

But a few hours earlier, on November 8, he met with Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential palace in Ankara, lending a different air of formality, but also gravity, to his Turkish visit.

Erdogan and Musk had then discussed, according to relevant publications at the time, the possibility of this happening Tesla And the SpaceX To cooperate with companies from Türkiye. “We exchanged views on partnerships that Turkish companies could establish with SpaceX and Tesla,” he said in November 2017. Ibrahim Kalin As Erdogan’s representative said, in an interview with Anadolu Agency, in light of publications that wanted Turkey to prepare to send its own satellites (Turksat) into space on the one hand, and Musk’s Tesla, on the other hand, to expand the network with fast charging stations (Supercharger). For its electric vehicles within the Turkish borders.

Erdogan and Musk are shown meeting again, by phone/video, in January 2021 and then again in December of the same year, with the most important topics on the agenda for their talks being cooperation on the front. Space/satellite technology And Electric car.

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Turkish satellites and electric cars

When Türkiye launched a communications satellite Turksat 5A In January 2021, it did so with Musk’s help, thanks to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The same scenario will be repeated in December 2021, during the launch of the second Turkish satellite. Turksat 5b Which was also augmented by the Falcon 9. In order to please Musk, Erdogan then “offered” him a telecommunications NFT/satellite art designed by 5,000 Turkish students.

By the way, it is worth noting that Turkey has also been promoting its domestically produced electric cars in recent years under the brand name TOGG.

Strange handshakes.

Then Erdogan and Musk met Doha to catarrhin December 2022, as part of world Cup of footballDuring the grand final (Argentina vs. France), a handshake was exchanged that appeared “clumsy” and “unwelcome” to the foreign press (see related article in the British newspaper The Independent).

However, the conversation between the two men today (September 18), through translators, at the so-called “Turkevi House” in New York, where Erdogan went to participate, seemed somewhat “uncomfortable”. The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly is being held these days.

“Where is your wife?” the Turkish president is seen asking Musk, when he sees him with his three-year-old son in “Turkey House.” “Oh, she’s in San Francisco. We’re divorced,” answers the billionaire, who probably did not expect such a question.

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Erdogan - Musk: Censorship, Tesla, and... space companies -1
Musk and Erdogan together in New York on September 18, 2023 (Murat Cetinmuhurdar/PPO/Handout via REUTERS)

Tesla’s next factory ‘battle’

But according to what was officially announced by the Communications Office of the Turkish Presidency, Erdogan called Musk today, as part of their conversation, which took place in the presence of… Turkish Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Katzer and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidanto install the next car production plant for the car manufacturer Tesla within the Turkish borders as well as start providing broadband internet services to Turkey via satellite network Starlink…Erdogan also reportedly invited Musk to the tech expo Technovest Which is being held this month (September 27 – October 1) in Izmir, but we also discussed with him prospects for cooperation in the field artificial intelligence.

“President (S.S. to Elon Musk) made that clear to us […] We are ready to support Tesla (if it chooses) to establish its next factory in Turkey, which will be the second in Europe and the seventh in the world,” notes the Turkish Minister of Industry. M. F. Katsir In his post on the X network (formerly Twitter), which of course has been owned by Musk since 2022.

But “coincidentally”, the same network (formerly Twitter/currently