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Bilateral Relations

Embassy of India

India-Türkiye Relations

There are historical connections between India and Türkiye. Diplomatic relations were established and Ambassadors exchanged in 1948. High level visits were exchanged regularly. The visit by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1960 was the first Prime Ministerial visit to Türkiye. In 1965, Vice-President Dr. Zakir Hussein visited Türkiye. Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Ozal visited India in 1986. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi paid a return visit to Türkiye in 1988. This was followed by the visit of Turkish President General Kenan Evren in 1989; visit by President Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma in 1993; Turkish President Suleyman Demirel in 1995; the State visit by President K. R. Narayanan in September 1998; and the visit by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in April 2000. Vice President Krishan Kant visited Türkiye in October 1998 representing India on the occasion of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Turkish Republic. The visit of Prime Minister Vajpayee in September 2003 was extremely successful. The visit created wider public awareness of a new and progressive image of India.

Bilateral relations have been strengthened by the exchange of visits of leaders of both countries in recent times. These include visits by the then Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to India in 2008 and the then Turkish President Abdullah Gul to India in 2010. Vice President Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari visited Türkiye from 10-15 October 2011. Rashtrapatiji Shri Pranab Mukherjee visited Türkiye during 5-7 October 2013. External Affairs Minister (EAM) Smt. Sushma Swaraj paid a working visit to Türkiye during 15-16 January 2015 and held discussions with her counterpart, Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu. Foreign Minister Cavusoglu made a brief transit halt in New Delhi on 19 March 2015 during which he held talks with External Affairs Minister. Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. (Retd) Vijay Kumar Singh, led a delegation to Türkiye on 24-26 April 2015, to participate in the 100th anniversary ceremonies of the Canakkale Land and Sea battles of 1915. Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs paid an official visit to India on 18-19 August 2016. Foreign Minister Cavusoglu held talks with Minister of External Affairs. A Road Map between the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was finalized during the visit.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the G20 Summit held in Antalya on 15-16 November 2015 on the margins of the Summit, Prime Minister had bilateral talks with President Erdogan. PM Modi and President Erdogan held talks in Hangzhou on 5 September 2016 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. The two leaders interacted with each other on the sidelines of BRICs Plus meeting in Johannesburg on 25-27 July 2018 and met on the sidelines of G-20 in Osaka on 29 July 2019. EAM Sushma Swaraj made a transit halt at Erzurum on 19 February 2019. Turkish Trade Minister Rushar Pekcan visited India in December 2018 during which a meeting of the Joint Business Council was also held. Dr. Ibrahim Kalin, Chief Advisor and Spokesperson of the President of Türkiye and Deputy Chairman of the Foreign and Security Council visited India on 25 April 2019. President Erdogan paid a state visit to India on 30 April -1 May 2017. He was accompanied by a high-level delegation and a 150-strong business delegation. President Erdogan had a meeting with Rashtrapatiji. Prime Minister held a one-to-one meeting with President Erdogan followed by delegation level talks. Vice-President and External Affairs Minister separately called on President Erdogan. President Erdogan was conferred an honorary degree by Jamia Milia Islamia University. Five bilateral agreements were signed during the visit.

Parliamentary delegations were exchanged on 8 occasions, with the last visit being from our speaker of Parliament in June 2005. Members of Parliament have been regularly participating in multilateral conferences held in Türkiye.

Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) at Secretary-level were institutionalized through a Protocol signed in April 2000. The last round of consultations was held on 10 June 2022 in Ankara. The 4th meeting of the Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism was held in Ankara on 4 July 2019. A new bilateral mechanism ‘India-Türkiye Policy Planning Dialogue’ was institutionalized between the two Foreign Ministries with the first round held virtually on 22 October 2020.

The Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) has MoUs with the Centre for Strategic Research (SAM) of the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Asian Centre for Strategic Studies (TASAM). An ICWA delegation visited Türkiye in March 2018 and held discussions with SAM & TASAM.

Economic & Commercial Relations

The India-Türkiye economic and commercial cooperation constitutes an important dimension of the bilateral relationship. The two sides have strengthened and deepened bilateral economic cooperation in a number of ways. The Bilateral Trade Agreement between India and Türkiye was signed in 1973, followed by an Agreement on setting up an India–Türkiye Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JCETC) in 1983. Under this Agreement, JCETC meetings are held alternately in India and Türkiye.The India-Türkiye Joint Business Council (JBC) between Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye (DEIK) was set up in 1996. FICCI and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) signed an MoU to enhance cooperation in 2008. On 6 April 2015,Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) signed an MoU with TOBB to promote bilateral trade and economic cooperation. CII also signed a MOU with DEIK in March 2018. A cooperating agreement between FICCI and TOBB was also signed for establishing IndiaTürkiye Working Committee and Investment Forums. An India Business Forum (IBF) was launched in Istanbul by the Ambassador in December 2018 which holds quarterly meetings.

India’s economic engagement with Türkiye saw new momentum in recent years. Bilateral India-Türkiye trade increased significantly in the preceding decade and a half to cross USD 10.70 billion mark in 2021-22. Mineral oils/mineral fuels, machinery/mechanical appliances, steel, flat steel products, man-made filament, plastics and derivatives, organic chemicals and dyes, man-made fibres and cotton/cotton yarn/cotton textiles are India’s principal exports to Türkiye.  Türkiye’s main exports to India include machinery, construction material such as stones, plastering materials, iron & steel, oilseeds, metallic ores, inorganic chemicals, precious stones, fresh apple etc.

Several Indian companies are registered in Türkiye. Indian companies such as TAFE, Mahindra, Sonalika, Tata, Jindal, Indo-Rama, Birla Cellulose, Polyplex Merrill Lynch, Punj Lloyd, Thermax, Wipro, Jain Irrigation, etc. have invested in Türkiye to the tune of USD 125 million while Turkish investments in India stands at USD 223 million, according to Turkish data. Turkish companies Koc Holding, Arcelik A.S, Dogus Holding Dogus Construction, Celebi Holding, Orhan Holding, etc. operate in Türkiye. An ‘Invest in India’ Seminar was held in the Embassy on 10 May 2019 where a presentation on investment opportunities in India was made to major Turkish companies. Ind?a participated as Focus Country for the second time with 80 companies in the 88th Izmir International Fair 2019 held at Izmir from 6-11 September 2019.

Cultural Relations

India and Türkiye share a historical cultural overlap. Cultural exchanges have grown in recent years, especially after the revival of CEP in 2017. Cultural performances, film shows, exhibitions, seminars, outreach to universities are being organized regularly. A Festival of India in Türkiye, India by the Bosphorus, was held in March-April 2019 showcasing Indian dance, music, food and fashion in major cities in Türkiye. Several events were organized for the celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Mission organized ‘Glimpses of India Tagore Painting Competition’ for school children of Türkiye in four cities in April 2019. As part of Tagore Festival, a dance drama by the Kalamandalam dance group and a lecture sponsored by the ICCR was organized in Ankara and Istanbul, along with a photo exhibition and screening of a film on Tagore.  As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, several cultural programmes are being organized in Türkiye. The Indology Department in Ankara University has been in operation since1930s. Indian Studies have been started at several universities in Türkiye including METU, Giresum, Kayseri, Malatya, Instanbul and Koc Universities. Since 1995, and Indian Professor in Hindi language has been attached on deputation by the ICCR with the Indology Department in Ankara University. Türkiye has been sending Turkish language professors to JNU and Jamia Milia University. Turkish students are regularly nominated to study Hindi in Central Institute of Hindi (Kendriya Hindi Sansthan), Agra. Slots have been allotted to Türkiye under ITEC. In 2018-19 and 2019-20, 16 and 13 ITEC scholarship slots respectively have been utilized.

Indian Community

Türkiye has a small Indian community, mostly in Istanbul and working in commercial organizations, banks and computer firms. A number of Indians work in the faculty of several Turkish universities. There are over 180 Indian students in Türkiye. Turkish Airlines operates daily flights from Istanbul to Mumbai and Delhi. Indigo started daily flights from New Delhi and Mumbai to Istanbul since March 2019.

July 2022

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