- Elon Musk offered to activate SpaceX Starlink internet in Turkey after it suffered a deadly earthquake.
- Bloomberg later reported that Turkey’s government had declined the offer.
- On Monday, Turkey and Syria were hit by a massive earthquake that killed hundreds of people.
Turkey has rejected Elon Musk’s offer to activate Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet service, in the country after it was hit by a deadly earthquake, Bloomberg reported Monday.
“Starlink is not approved by Turkish government yet,” Musk tweeted late Sunday. “SpaceX can send as soon as approved.”
Musk was responding to a Twitter user who said there were “severe communication shortages” in Turkey after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the south-east of the country near the Syrian border, killing hundreds of people.
Bloomberg reported an anonymous senior Turkish official as saying they were thankful for Musk’s offer but Turkey had enough satellite capacity, and its base stations were working with battery power.
SpaceX and Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Twitter users shared videos and posts of power outages in Turkey after the earthquake, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday had killed more than 900 people and injured over 5,300, per Anadolu Agency, the Turkish state-run news service.
Ömer Fatih Sayan, Turkey’s minister of transport and infrastructure, tweeted on Monday it was important that communication infrastructure wasn’t disrupted in the areas hit by the earthquake. He added that meetings were frequently being held to see how communication outages could be avoided.
It’s not the first time Musk has offered to help countries in crisis.
The billionaire activated Starlink in Ukraine after Russia invaded in February 2022, following a request from Mykhailo Fedorov, the country’s vice-prime minister. SpaceX has sent thousands of Starlink internet dishes to Ukraine and its troops.
In September, Musk said SpaceX planned to activate Starlink in Iran because of internet outages during protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody.