Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook had a high level, closed-door meeting with Turkish president Abdullah Gül on Tuesday. The Turkish president urged the tech juggernaut to consider investing in Turkish research & development activities. According to the official release, Gül told Tim Cook how the government has been helping the R&D activities by offering significant incentives.

Apple Turkey

Apple mum on FATIH project

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled its Online Store in the country in October last year. Gül said the Cupertino-based company’s R&D investments will take the company to a stronger position in Turkey and elsewhere. This way, consumers will look at Apple not just as a seller of gadgets, but as an organization that adds value to the nation. The Turkish president also shared his expectations of the tech company offering its Siri app in the local language. Gül also asked Tim Cook to increase the number of apps in Turkish language.

The FATIH education project was expected to be one of the most important issues during the meeting. Experts speculated Cook’s Istanbul trip to revolve around the education project that could be worth up to $4.5 billion. FATIH is an ambitious project that aims to provide 15 million tablets to Turkish students. Last year, John Couch, vice president of education at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), met Gül to discuss the project. Later, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan went to Cupertino to gain a better understanding of iPads in the education field.

Apple CEO hungry for international business growth?

Tim Cook announced that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will open a “unique” retail store in Istanbul by April, 2014. He said the store will boast a design and features seen nowhere else on the planet. In December, reports surfaced that the Apple Store will be opened at Zorlu Center. Before visiting Turkey, Tim Cook went to Ireland, where he met Taoiseach Enda Kenny to discuss future regional operations and taxes. Cook also flew to Dubai over the weekend to meet UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The company still doesn’t have an official store in the Emirates. Cook visited Burj Khalifa, which triggered rumors that the world’s tallest building may house the Apple Store in Dubai.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares skidded 0.69% to $505.28 in pre-market trading Wednesday.