Erdogan gifts Turkish-made electric cars to Saudi king amid new trade, military deals

Erdogan gifts Turkish-made electric cars to Saudi king amid new trade, military deals
2 min read
18 July, 2023
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was seen driving Turkish President Erdogan in an electric car on the latter’s visit to Jeddah, following years of strained ties between the two countries.
Erdogan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tested the TOGG car together [Getty]

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gifted two Turkish-made TOGG electric cars on Monday to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz as Riyadh and Ankara signed a series of investment, communications, and defence agreements.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, widely considered the Gulf kingdom’s de facto ruler, was seen driving one of the vehicles with Erdogan in the passenger seat.

The Saudi crown prince was seen dropping Erdogan off at his Jeddah hotel, in footage broadcast by the Turkish Anadolu news agency and the Saudi state-owned Ekhbariya TV station.

Turkey announced that it had produced its TOGG electric car in September 2022. A standard range T10X model sells for around $50,000 while higher end models are priced at around $64,000.

Turkey has full patent rights to the car and aims to make it a global brand.

Erdogan began a visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday as part of a wider tour of Gulf countries. He arrived in Qatar on Tuesday and is due to visit the UAE on Wednesday.

Following Erdogan’s visit, Saudi Arabia announced that it had reached two deals to purchase drones from the Turkish company Baykar.

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Erdogan previously visited Saudi Arabia last April following years of strained relations between the two countries.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Turkey hit a low point in 2018, when Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who had published a number of articles critical of Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Erdogan vowed at the time to pursue the case and bring the killers to justice. Saudi Arabia responded with an unofficial boycott of Turkish goods.

However, in 2022 Turkey transferred the Khashoggi case to Saudi jurisdiction in a bid to improve ties with the Gulf kingdom.