updated 09:17 am EST, Tue December 24, 2013
Initiative long in development
CEO Tim Cook and some other Apple executives will be visiting Turkey in February to discuss a potential education deal estimated to be worth up to $4 billion, according to local publication Emlak Kulisi. Cook is expected to meet with Turkish President Abdullah Gül to discuss the country's "FATIH Project," which will replace textbooks and other aspects of Turkish schooling with tablets and computers. Apple has been vying to make the iPad Turkey's tablet of choice; in May, controversial Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Apple's headquarters.
Turkey is looking to acquire about 10.6 million tablets initially, and could choose to buy another 2 to 2.5 million in a second wave. The plan is set to roll out over four years, and cost the government somewhere between $3 and $4 billion.
Cook is also allegedly planning to visit the first Turkish Apple Store, which is due to open early next year in Istanbul's Zorlu Center. The outlet should measure over 21,500 square feet, and feature an all-glass cap structure, similar to other high-profile Apple locations. The company has only recently been putting more emphasis on the Turkish market, for instance launching a regional online store in October.