According to a report that was published on Monday by Bloomberg, Turkey has turned down Elon Musk’s offer to activate Starlink, which is SpaceX’s satellite internet service, in the country after it was struck by a devastating earthquake.
Late on Sunday evening, Musk tweeted that “Starlink is not approved by Turkish government yet.” “SpaceX was prepared to launch as soon as approval is received.”
Musk was reacting to a Twitter user who had stated that there were “severe communication shortages” in Turkey after an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 struck the southeastern part of the nation near the Syrian border, causing the deaths of hundreds of people.
According to Bloomberg, a senior Turkish official who requested anonymity stated that Turkey was appreciative of Musk’s gift but that they did not want additional satellite capacity because its base stations already operated on battery power.
Insider’s requests for comments were not immediately met with a response from either SpaceX or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.
Users of Twitter shared videos and posts depicting power outages in Turkey in the aftermath of the earthquake, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on Monday had killed more than 900 people and injured over 5,300, according to Anadolu Agency, the Turkish state-run news service. Twitter users also shared posts and videos depicting damage caused by the earthquake.
Omer Fatih Sayan, Turkey’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, wrote on Twitter on Monday that it was critical to ensure that the communication infrastructure in the regions that were impacted by the quake was not damaged.
He went on to say that regular meetings were being organized to discuss the possibility in which disruptions in communication could be minimized.
It’s not the first moment that Elon has made a proposal to aid nations who are facing a crisis.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the billionaire responded to an inquiry from Mykhailo Fedorov, who was acting as vice prime minister of the country at the period and enabled Starlink there. The Ukrainian military and government have received thousands of satellite internet antennas from SpaceX.
Musk claimed in September that SpaceX intended to deploy Starlink in Iran as a consequence of connectivity problems that happened during protests in Iran over the loss of Mahsa Amini, who was 22 years old and deceased while in police detention.