Nothing official has been announced, but speculations have arisen as to why Elon Musk recently met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It seems that the most likely reasoning for the meeting was Tesla and Turkey’s dreams of domestic automotive production.
According to the Associated Press, five Turkish business recently came together in an effort to produce a Turkish-made vehicle. Apparently, Erdogan was very supportive of the project, and the Turkish federal government has a past of sponsoring the production of electric cars in order to compete with Tesla within the country.
On Wednesday, the Turkish presidency Twitter account posted a picture of Musk and Erdogan shaking hands, but did not elaborate on what they spoke about.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the Presidential Complex. pic.twitter.com/9NQiuuQwmD
— Turkish Presidency (@trpresidency) November 8, 2017
This was planned on Erdogan’s public schedule, albeit without any real context.
— Benjamin Harvey (@BenjaminHarvey) November 8, 2017
While there is a large community of Tesla owners within Turkey, there are no official distributors of the cars within the nation itself. This being the case, the most likely scenario is that Musk was visiting in order to gain the ability for his company to sell Teslas in Turkey. However, one interesting detail is that Musk and Erdogan were photographed in front of model spaceships which showed the SpaceX logo. Maybe Turkey’s interested in space travel?
Elon Musk – Erdoğan Görüşmesinden Kareler pic.twitter.com/ScPVUaNwpV
— TeknoGirişim (@basariodakli) November 8, 2017
Regardless of the reason for the visit, Musk’s appearance with Erdogan has stirred up a lot of controversy. Erdogan’s regime is nothing short of authoritarian, as it represses the press and rigs election. His recent visit to the US resulted in violence when his security detail assaulted reporters and protesters. He even has two US diplomats detained in turkey.