India-Türkiye Relations India-Türkiye Relations

Embassy of India

India-Türkiye Relations

There are historical connections between India and Türkiye. Diplomatic relations were established and Ambassadors exchanged in 1948.

Most recent political level contacts include the visit of President Erdogan to attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi from 9 to 10 September 2023 during which he also held bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Summit. Discussions took place on bilateral cooperation potential in areas like trade and investment, defence and security, civil aviation, and shipping. Earlier, they met on 16 September 2022 on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar met the Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu when he visited New Delhi from 1-2 March 2023 to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, during which the two Ministers also held a bilateral meeting. Earlier, on 20 September 2022, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

President Erdogan paid a state visit to India in 2017. Besides high political level engagements, President Erdogan was conferred an honorary degree by Jamia Milia Islamia University during the visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the G20 Summit held in Antalya in November 2015. PM Modi and President Erdogan held a bilateral in Hangzhou in 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 in July 2018 and again met on the sidelines of G-20 in Osaka in June 2019.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu visited New Delhi from 1-2 March 2023 to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, during which he also held a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister.

Previous exchange of bilateral visits: The visit by the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1960 was the first prime ministerial visit to Türkiye. In 1965, Vice President Dr. Zakir Hussain 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. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Türkiye in September 2003. The then Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited India in 2008 and the then Turkish President Abdullah Gul in 2010. Vice President Hamid Ansari visited Türkiye in October 2011. President Pranab Mukherjee visited Türkiye in October 2013; External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj paid a working visit to Türkiye in January 2015; Foreign Minister Cavusoglu made a brief transit visit in Delhi in March 2015; Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. (Retd) V.K. Singh participated in April 2015 in the 100th anniversary ceremonies of the Canakkale Land and Sea battles. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu paid an official visit to India on 18-19 August 2016.

There have been exchanges of parliamentary delegations between the two countries. Members of Parliament have also been interacting with each other at multilateral parliamentary conferences. Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) at Secretary (Deputy Foreign Minister) 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.

Economic & Commercial Relations

The India-Türkiye economic and commercial cooperation constitutes an important dimension of the bilateral relationship. 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. Co-chaired by the trade ministers of the two countries, the last (10th) session of JCETC was held in New Delhi in January 2014.

India’s economic engagement with Türkiye has acquired new momentum in recent years with considerable increase in India-Türkiye trade, which has crossed USD 13.80 billion in 2022-23. Indian companies have invested about USD 126 million in Türkiye (as per Central Bank of Türkiye data) and Turkish investment in India is about USD 210.47 million (as per Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, India).

India-Turkiye bilateral trade

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India’s Exports







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(Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India)

Operation Dost

In the wake of the 6 February 2023 earthquakes in southern Türkiye, India made a humanitarian assistance initiative named “Operation Dost” [Operation Friend], consisting of search and rescue teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and a mobile field hospital set up by the Indian Army. Over 250 trained Indian personnel were brought to Türkiye along with specialized equipment, vehicles and relief material in six C-17 military aircraft, who actively worked in search and rescue operations and provided medical treatment through a self-contained field hospital equipped to perform even life and limb-saving surgeries. Operation Dost was among the earliest foreign help to arrive in Türkiye. India also sent medical equipment and relief material to Türkiye in these difficult times as a mark of solidarity with the people of Türkiye.

Cultural Relations

India and Türkiye have traditionally shared cultural linkages. There is a formally agreed arrangement for cultural cooperation through a Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP). Cultural performances, film shows, exhibitions, seminars, outreach to universities are being organized from time to time. 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 have already been organized in connection with Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (India@75), marking 75 years of India’s independence. The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) sponsored a Gujarati folk dance group ‘Saptak’ visited Bursa (Türkiye) in the 34thInternational Golden Karagoz Folk Competition in July 2022. Teaching and learning of Turkish and Indian languages are also being encouraged and facilitated in each other’s countries.

Indian Community

There are currently around 3000 estimated Indian nationals in Türkiye. Out of these, around 1850 are in Istanbul and adjoining provinces, around 250 in Ankara and remaining spread out across other provinces. Theyare mainly working in commercial organizations, banks and computer firms, universities etc. There are currently around 200 Indian students in Türkiye.

October 2023