updated 10:15 pm EST, Mon February 3, 2014
Follows visits to Ireland, UAE, mostly on educational tech topics
Apple CEO Tim Cook, already on something of a world tour following recent visits to China, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates, will meet once again with Turkey's President Abdullah Gül on Tuesday, presumably to further discuss a potential $4 billion iPad educational initiative as well as open the country's first-ever Apple Store, located in Istanbul. The store is a 21,500-foot facility in the city's Zorlu Center, and follows the opening of the online Apple Store for Turkey back in October.
Apple VP Couch (left) meets with President Gül (right)
Also likely to be included in the meeting is Apple's Senior VP for Education, John Couch, who met with Gül almost exactly a year ago to hammer out the deal. The initiative calls for an initial purchase of 10.6 million tablets, with another two to 2.5 million to be added to the program if it works out well. The total cost of the plan could be as high as $4 billion. The meeting was announced on the Turkish president's official web page.
The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, visited a number of tech firms (including Apple) during a tour last May to get a better understanding of the various tablet manufacturers and the technology used for education. Reports have said that conditions of the FATIH project, as it is know, include the creation of at least seven "service centers" around the country, and some investment on the part of the chosen tablet supplier in areas such as assembly centers, research labs or things of that nature in Turkey is expected as well.