Erdogan praises Elon Musk for not succumbing to 'anti-Turkish blackmail and pressure'
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thanked SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for not bowing to "blackmail and pressure of the anti-Turkey lobbies", in a video address to mark the launch of a satellite on Sunday.
In a video address at Turksat's headquarters in Ankara to mark the occasion, President Erdogan hailed the launch as another "moment of pride for Turkey and the Turkish nation".
Turkey's new telecommunication satellite Turksat 5B was successfully launched on Sunday by US aerospace company SpaceX from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Deployment of Turksat 5B confirmed pic.twitter.com/mYysWH9IGa— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 19, 2021
"Today, we launched Turksat 5B, the most powerful and highest-capacity communication satellite of our country, into space. In this satellite project, we also opted for Space X's Falcon 9 rocket," Erdogan said.
"On my own behalf and on behalf of my people, I congratulate Mr. (Elon) Musk and SpaceX for not succumbing to the blackmail and pressure of the anti-Turkish lobbies."
Uzaydaki sekizinci aktif uydumuz olacak #TURKSAT5B, 42 derece doğu yörüngesinde ülkemize 35 yıl boyunca hizmet etmek üzere uzay yolculuğuna başlıyor.— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) December 19, 2021
Hayırlı uğurlu olsun. 🇹🇷 🛰 pic.twitter.com/Xw5xvDO1F4
On Thursday, Erdogan and Musk - the world’s richest man and founder of car company Tesla - spoke via video call to discuss the upcoming launch, Ankara's space efforts, and Turkish state and private collaboration with Musk's firms.
Another of Turkey's satellites Turksat 5A was also launched by SpaceX in January 2021.
It is hoped the new 5B satellite will increase data transmission 15-fold, and will service the Middle East, Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean, North and East Africa, Nigeria, South Africa, as well as neighbouring countries, according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu.