Canada and Turkey have longstanding diplomatic relations. In 1947, Canada appointed its first resident Ambassador to Turkey, while Turkey opened a resident Embassy in Ottawa in 1944. In recent years, as friends and allies, Canada and Turkey have expanded the depth and variety of their bilateral links as valued political, commercial, strategic, and security partners. In 2009, these links were further strengthened by a number of new initiatives, including the inauguration of direct flights between Toronto and Istanbul and the signing of an agreement to avoid double taxation.
Multilateral cooperation has grown through links in NATO, the United Nations and its agencies, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the Council of Europe. Through these shared ties, Canada and Turkey are working together toward our common goal of promoting peace and stability throughout Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Turkey and Canada's Armed Forces have enjoyed a longstanding cooperation. They are both committed to defending democratic values and global security within the framework of international cooperation and security. Both military forces are excellent partners in the multilateral sphere and work together well within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This has again been recently demonstrated through close Canadian and Turkish cooperation as major contributors to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
Canada has a relatively strong commercial relationship with Turkey — the world's 17th largest economy, a G20 member, and the third most populous nation in Europe (74.0 million) after Germany and Russia. Given its strategic geographic location and negotiated trade agreements, Turkey offers excellent access to markets in Europe (including preferential Customs Union access to the European Union), the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East.
Canada-Turkey bilateral merchandise trade stood at $2.3 billion in 2012. Turkey is Canada’s 34th largest trading partner. Canadian merchandise exports to Turkey were $850 million in 2012, and consisted mainly of mineral fuels and oils, iron and steel, and vegetables.
Recently Turkey has experienced a surge of foreign direct investment from around the world. Many Canadian companies have recognized the great investment potential Turkey offers. Canadian investments in Turkey stood at about $909 million in 2012 and Export Development Canada has identified the country as a strategic market of opportunity for Canadian firms.
Niche opportunities exist for Canadian investors, particularly in the energy, information and communication technologies, mining, education and infrastructure sectors. Commercial opportunities in Turkey match well with Canadian supply capabilities.
Last updated: August 2013
* If you require a plug-in or a third-party software to view this file, please visit the alternative formats section of our help page .