Turkey turns down Musk’s offer to send Starlink broadband gear after deadly quake kills hundreds

February 6, 2023, 10:41 AM UTC
A person is being rescued under rubble after 7.7 magnitude earthquake hits Turkiyeâs southern provinces, in Iskenderun district of Hatay, Turkiye on Feb. 6, 2023.
Sezgin Pancar—Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Turkish government declined Elon Musk’s proposal to send a satellite broadband service to the country after the strongest earthquake to hit the country in decades. 

Musk said on Twitter that one of his companies, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., could provide the Starlink network as soon as approved by the Turkish government. 

A senior Turkish official, who did not want to be named, thanked the multi-billionaire for the proposal but said Turkey had enough satellite capacity. The country has base stations working with batteries though electricity cannot be provided to some areas, the person said. 

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake that struck in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep has killed hundreds of people in Syria and Turkey and injured thousands more. It is the most powerful earthquake to hit the country since 1939. 

SpaceX is due to launch Turkey’s first communication satellite, Turksat 6A, into orbit in the first quarter this year. 

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