May 20, 2013
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited three of the top companies in Silicon Valley yesterday. His visitation took place ahead of the landmark purchase of millions of tablets for the Turkish government's education initiative. According to the state-owned Anatolia News Agency, Erdoğan visited Microsoft, Google, and, of course, Apple. His tour is focused on giving a major push to the Fatih project. The project, which was launched by the prime minister himself, is aimed at integrating state-of-the-art computer technology into Turkey's public education system. Erdoğan said:
We wanted to see the latest developments in the information technology sector before we launched the Fatih bid by visiting the Silicon Valley because we plan to realize a similar project in Istanbul. Our first aim is to produce 10,600,000 tablets as part of the Fatih project, which will be followed by the production of 2 million to 2.5 million tablets.A tender process related to the Fatih project is scheduled for May 27. Apple and its largest competitor in the tablet market, Samsung, are among the companies reported to take part in the bidding. Should Apple succeed in securing a contract through the tender, it's expected to supply millions of iPads as replacements for traditional textbooks and the like for Turkish schoolchildren. As noted by MacRumors, a group of Apple executives had traveled to Turkey back in February to meet with Turkish President Abdullah Gül about the ambitious education initiative.