IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


3rd April, 2024 International Relations


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  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on Sunday (March 31) faced its biggest electoral defeat since Erdogan rose to power more than two decades ago.


  • Turkey is a country that occupies a unique geographic position, lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe.
  • Turkey has a diverse geography, culture, economy, and history that make it an interesting and significant country in the world.
  • It is among the larger countries of the region in terms of territory and population, and its land area is greater than that of any European state.

Turkey has well-defined natural borders with its eight neighbours:

    • Armenia, Iran, and Azerbaijan in the east
    • Georgia in the northeast
    • Bulgaria and Greece in the northwest
    • Iraq and Syria in the southeast
  • Turkey has a coastline along the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Turkey's strategic position has also made it a regional power and a key ally for many countries.

Background of India-Turkey Relations

  • There are deep historical connections between India and Turkey. The first exchange of diplomatic missions between the Ottoman Sultans and the Muslim rulers of the subcontinent dates back to the years 1481-82.
  • The Ottoman Sultans and the Muslim kingdoms of the Indian subcontinent initially exchanged diplomatic delegations during 1481-1482.
  • More recent historical contacts between India and Turkey were reflected in the medical mission led by renowned Indian freedom fighter, Dr. M.A. Ansari, to Turkey in 1912 during the Balkan Wars and the Khilafat movement (1919- 1924).
  • India also extended support in the 1920s to Turkey’s War of Independence and the formation of the Turkish Republic. Mahatma Gandhi himself took a stand against the injustices inflicted on Turkey at the end of World War I.
  • Turkey recognized India right after its declaration of independence on 15 August 1947 and diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in 1948.
  • As Turkey was part of the Western Alliance and India of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War era, bilateral relations did not develop at the desired pace.
  • After the 9/11 world politics moved to the war on terror. Both states converged on mutual interest, and war against terrorism. They have begun to move closer to these issues and started to cooperate and take various steps towards a more substantive partnership.

India Turkey Relations

Political relations

  • The diplomatic relation was established, in 1960 during the visit by the first PM Nehru, the first prime of India.
  • Recently PM Modi and Turkish President Recep Erdogan in September 2022 on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Samarkand (Uzbekistan).

Economic & Commercial Relations

  • India and Türkiye signed the bilateral agreements in 1973 the visit by the first PM Nehru
  • India–Türkiye Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JCETC) was established in 1983.
  • Bilateral trade in 2021-22- USD 10.70 billion.
    • India’s export to Tukey in 2021-22- $ 8,716.13 million.
    • India’s import for this period-$ 1,996.75 million.
  • The major Indian exports to Turkey:
    • petroleum products, auto components/parts, man-made yarn, made ups, aircraft & spacecraft parts, etc.
  • Imports from Turkey:
    • industrial machinery, broken/unbroken poppy seeds; mechanical appliances, iron and steel articles thereof, inorganic chemicals, granite and marble, etc.

Cultural Relations

  • The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) maintains good economic relations with cultural communities of Turkey.
  • The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) hosted a Gujarati folk dance group ‘Saptak’ in Bursa (Türkiye) in the 34th International Golden Karagoz Folk Competition in 2022.
  • A Festival of India in Türkiye was also held in March-April 2019 showcasing Indian dance, music, cuisine and fashion in cities in Türkiye.

Indian diaspora

  • A small Indian community of around 2000 people lives in Turkiye. They live mostly in Istanbul.
  • There are currently around 200 Indian students in Türkiye.

Bone of contention of relations between two countries

  • Turkish Stad on Pakistan:
    • Turkey shares religious affiliation with Pakistan and this has resulted in dipping of the ties between India, and Turkey. Turkish support for Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir conflict is well-known.
    • Turkey condemned India in September 2019 over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and the repeal of article 370.
    • In the UN, it made strident remarks against India. As a result, it improved Pakistan’s status in this regard. As a result, ties between Turkey and India are tense.
  • India’s standing against Tirkiye:
    • India also criticized Turkey for its military assault in north Syria and alleged that it will affect both regional peace and the battle against terrorism. India also had urged Turkey to respect Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  • Opposition to NSG entry:
    • Turkey is one of the few nations to oppose India’s admission to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • Rise of Pan-Turkism:
    • The ideology of pan-Turkism dates back to the mid-19th century when campaigns for uniting Turkic people in Russia gained traction. Its geographic scope would eventually become much wider, covering the huge spread of Turkic people from the “Balkans to the Great Wall of China”. A defining slogan of pan-Turkism is: “Where there are Turks, there is Turkey.”
    • The rise of Turkey and the formation of the Organisation of Turkic States adds more complexity to the Eurasian geopolitics.

Significance of Turkey for India

The strategic location of Turkey to provide connectivity with Central Asia through the Caucasus provide many advantages for India.

  • Rise of Turkiyein region: Turkiye has increased its profile in Central Asia and have made new relations with other countries in the region.
  • The military: Turkey is increasingly becoming a global military power. In the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Turkish military intervention turned the war in favour of the latter.
  • Potential for Trade: Turkish annual trade with the Central Asian region is more than $10 billion with the potential to grow even more. By engaging with Turkey, India can improve the economic presence in the region.
  • Connectivity: Country is building transportation corridors to Central Asia and beyond, to China, Georgia and Azerbaijan, etc. The Lapis Lazuli Corridor now connects Turkey to Afghanistan via Turkmenistan.
  • G20 - The G20 is a group of 20 major economies, in which both of these nations participate. There, they have worked closely together to govern the global economy.


  • Bilateral relations have been strengthened by the exchange of visits of leaders of both countries in recent times. These include visits by the Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to India in 2008 and Turkish President Abdullah Gul to India in 2010. Hon’ble Vice President Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari visited Turkey from October 10-15, 2011. Several ministerial-level visits were exchanged during 2012-13, including visits by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister for New and Renewable Energy, and Shri Salman Khurshid, EAM.
  • As a great civilisational state, Turkey will endure as a pivotal state in Eurasia. Independent India has been at the forefront of building a large movement of developing countries — or the “Global South” — against the rich “Global North”. So India should engage with Turkey to improve India-Turkey relations and also India’s relations with other countries in the region.


MEA website and https://www.mea.gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/Turkey_August_2017.pdf



Q. Which of the following countries share the border with Turkey?

  1. Armenia
  2. Iran
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Iraq
  5. Syria

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1, 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 3 and 4 only
  4. All of the above

Answer: 4