1 of 2 | Tesla CEO Elon Musk was in Washington with other Big Tech execs on September 13, 2023 for Senate hearings on Artificial Intelligence. He met with President Erdogan on Sunday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Elon Musk in New York Sunday in an effort to persuade the billionaire executive to build a new Tesla manufacturing plant in Turkey.
Erdogan was in the United States over the weekend ahead of Tuesday's United Nations General Assembly meeting. He sat down with Musk for talks on possible future collaborations, including a plan for Musk to open a new Tesla factory in Turkey, and for SpaceX to partner with Turkey's space program through artificial intelligence.
The meeting took place in Manhattan, at Turkish House -- a 36-floor skyscraper across the street from U.N. headquarters, which serves as the Turkish diplomatic mission.
During the meeting, Musk acknowledged that Turkish parts suppliers were already entrenched with Tesla, saying that Turkey was "among the most important candidates" for the company's next plant, Turkish media reported, citing the country's communications directorate.
Musk said he was eager to work with the Turkish government to install Starlink satellite services in Turkey.
Erdogan told Musk about a number of new technology "breakthroughs" in Turkey before inviting the tech billionaire to Teknofest -- Turkey's premiere high-tech extravaganza for aviation, aerospace, engineering and innovation -- scheduled for later this month in Izmir.
Currently, Tesla has six factories around the world -- four of which are in the United States. The other two are in China and Germany.
In March, Musk announced the opening of a seventh plant in Mexico, while the company had considered setting up shop in India.
Meanwhile, France, Spain, and Italy were also courting Tesla to build factories within their borders.
Musk said he would decide on another location by the end of the year.