Starlink, the satellite internet venture of space exploration company SpaceX, has officially applied to obtain a license in Türkiye, just days after its founder Elon Musk met President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the U.S.
The company's application to the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) for its satellite internet service was confirmed by Ömer Fatih Sayan, Türkiye's deputy transport and infrastructure minister.
"Starlink, which offers low Earth orbit satellite services, expressed their desire to operate in our country," Sayan wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
"In response to their request, we conducted a productive meeting today with SpaceX representatives at the Information and Communication Technologies Authority," he said.
Sayan said they would gather feedback from stakeholders, including the telecommunications sector and the public, regarding the satellite services on Monday.
The announcement came after Erdoğan received Musk, who is also the head of electric carmaker Tesla, in New York, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly.
Erdoğan and Musk have held a string of meetings both in Türkiye and on the sidelines of international forums, developing a friendship that they extended last Sunday.
During the meeting, Musk said SpaceX wished to work with Turkish authorities to obtain the necessary license to offer Starlink satellite services in Türkiye.
Erdoğan said Türkiye was open to cooperation on Starlink.
Musk's SpaceX has been working with Türkiye's space industry, launching some of its communication satellites.
Erdoğan also invited Musk to establish a Tesla factory in Türkiye. For his part, Musk said that many Turkish suppliers are already working with Tesla and that Türkiye was among the most important candidates for its next factory.
"We discussed with Musk both Tesla's investment in Türkiye and taking joint steps in space studies. I hope they will conduct a joint study with our friends," the president told reporters on Thursday.
Erdoğan said Musk would "most likely" come to Türkiye soon and visit the country's largest aviation and technology festival. Teknofest is set to kick off in the Aegean province of Izmir on Sept. 27 and last through Oct. 1, Daily Sabah reports.