Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in New York on Sunday. Reports say that the two discussed a range of topics, and Erdoğan apparently encouraged Musk to build Tesla’s next Gigafactory in Turkey.
The meeting took place at the Turkish House in New York City, as reported by the country’s Directorate of Communications on X on Sunday. The agency said that Erdoğan called for Tesla to establish its seventh factory in Turkey, along with discussions surrounding SpaceX and the country’s Digital Vision and National Artificial Intelligence Strategy initiatives.
Musk also brought his baby X Æ A-12 to the meeting, as can be seen from the photos and videos. According to @Dima Zeniuk, the meeting only lasted about 45 minutes.
— Dima Zeniuk (@DimaZeniuk) September 17, 2023
Erdoğan also gifted Musk two books: UN Reform: A New Approach to International Cooperation, written by the Turkish Directorate of Communications, and A Fairer World is Possible, written by Erdoğan himself. The Turkish president is currently in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, which is set to begin on Tuesday.
Tesla began delivering its Model Y vehicles in Turkey in May, despite initially planning to launch all four vehicles in the country last year. The U.S. automaker also launched its first design studio and Supercharger stations in Turkey in April, seeming to indicate that the company’s vehicles would be launching in the country soon.
Currently, Tesla’s Model 3, Model S and Model X vehicles aren’t available in Turkey, and going to the country’s order configurator for these cars only lets users press a “Get Updates” button. These buttons are shown instead of the “Order Now” and “Test Drive” buttons that can be seen on Turkey’s Model Y order configurator.
Musk also offered help to Turkey with SpaceX’s Starlink internet earlier this year, after a deadly earthquake struck the country, leaving thousands of casualties. Starlink isn’t yet approved in Turkey, and a Turkish official subsequently denied the request, thanking Musk for the offer.
Update: Meeting location corrected to “The Turkish House.”