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POLITICS > Turkish PM visits Silicon Valley

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Turkish PM Erdoğan visited Silicon Valley on May 18 for a tour of big technology companies ahead of a key tender for tablets in Turkey’s schools in the framework of the Fatih project. His first stop was Microsoft, where he was welcomed by CEO Ballmer, who is willing to take part in the Fatih project

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Silicon Valley and tried Google Glass. AA Photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Silicon Valley and tried Google Glass. AA Photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Silicon Valley in San Francisco on May 18 for a tour of leading technology companies.

First stop Microsoft, then Apple, Google

His first stop was Microsoft, where he was welcomed by CEO Steve Ballmer. Ballmer, who is in charge of the Turkish Education Ministry’s Fatih project, briefed the prime minister about the ongoing endeavor.

Erdoğan, meanwhile, said a bid related to the Fatih project would be held next week. “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.”

Later on, Erdoğan moved to Apple and Google, where he participated in a test drive of the company’s self-driving car along with his daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan and his party’s deputy parliamentary group chair, Ayşenur Bahçekapılı.

Google’s business development director, Seval Öz, the sister of Mehmet Öz, a well-known Turkish doctor in the United States, briefed Erdoğan on the self-driving car and smart eyeglasses.

10.6 million tablet PCs for children

The Turkish Education Ministry has begun a tender process to purchase at least 10.6 million tablet PCs as part of its Fatih project to distribute the devices in schools. The government plans to replace traditional blackboards and textbooks in schools with electronic boards and tablet PCs as a part of the project in order to merge education with innovative information technologies and radically transform the perception of education.

The tender has been rescheduled for May 27. Apple, GM, Samsung and two Turkish companies, Arçelik and Vestel, are so far reported to have applied to participate in the tender.

Chinese company Shangai Fezxun’s offer is expected following the completion of the translation of the tender documents. The bidders have to guarantee that they will establish service stations in all seven regions of Turkey.

May/19/2013

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