India has sent rescue and medical teams, including an Army medical team and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel, along with medical supplies to quake-hit Türkiye.
More than 10,000 people have been killed and thousands injured by a huge earthquake which struck south-eastern Türkiye, near the Syrian border. India also sent relief materials, including lifesaving medicines and medical items, in a transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to Syria.
- Diplomatic relations were established and Ambassadors exchanged in 1948.
- Since the establishment of diplomatic relation, political and bilateral relations have been warm and cordial.
- However, some sporadic tensions remain in the relationship due to Türkiye’s support for Pakistan. Its stand on Kashmir has also been a problem area between the two countries.
Political relation –
- After the diplomatic relations were established, the visit by the first PM Nehru in 1960 was the first prime ministerial visit to Türkiye
- Most recent political level contacts include a bilateral meeting between PM Modi and Turkish President Recep Erdogan in September 2022 on the side-lines of the SCO Summit in Samarkand (Uzbekistan).
Economic and Commercial Relations –
- Bilateral Trade Agreement between India and Türkiye was signed in 1973.
- It was followed by an Agreement on setting up an India–Türkiye Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JCETC) in 1983.
- Bilateral trade crossed USD 10.70 billion in 2021-22 with —
- India’s export to Tukey: $ 8,716.13 million.
- India’s import: $ 1,996.75 million.
- The major Indian exports to Türkiye include —
- Petroleum products, auto components/parts, man-made yarn, fabrics, aircraft & spacecraft parts, etc.
- Imports from Türkiye include —
- Industrial machinery, broken/unbroken poppy seeds; machinery and mechanical appliances, iron and steel articles, inorganic chemicals, granite and marble, etc.
- Indian companies have invested about USD 126 million in Türkiye and Turkish investment in India is about USD 210.47 million.
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).
- 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.
- The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) sponsored Gujarati folk dance group ‘Saptak’ visited Bursa (Türkiye) in the 34th International Golden Karagoz Folk Competition in July 2022.
Indian Community –
- Türkiye has a small Indian community of around 2000 people. They are mostly in Istanbul and working in commercial organisations, banks and computer firms, universities etc.
- There are currently around 200 Indian students in Türkiye.
- Türkiye’s stand on Kashmir —
- In 2022, Turkish PM Erdogan, in his UN General Assembly speech, criticised India for failing to resolve ties with Pakistan and establish a fair, permanent peace and prosperity in Kashmir.
- Abrogation of Article 370 by India —
- After the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, which abolished the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, India-Türkiye ties have deteriorated.
- Türkiye as a hub of anti-India activities —
- Türkiye follows a three-pronged approach to in this regard:
- employment of Kashmiri journalists,
- providing scholarships to Indian Muslims, and
- funding NGOs in India to influence Indian Muslims.
- Türkiye also encourages radical Kashmiri youth to shift base to Istanbul and Ankara.
- Moreover, Türkiye-made pistols were recovered from Pakistani terrorists earlier this year.
- Issue of Cyprus, Armenia and Greece —
- In response to the stand taken by Türkiye on Kashmir, PM Modi responded by holding meetings with the leaders of Armenia, Cyprus, and Greece, three countries with which Türkiye has disputes.
- In 2021, Indian EAM Jaishankar met the foreign minister of Cyprus and called for adhering to the UNSC resolution on Cyprus.
- Türkiye has been routinely criticised for its illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus.
- In the most recent border dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, India encouraged an end to hostilities by the aggressor side, which many believe to be Azerbaijan.
- Armenia and Azerbaijan are fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- In this war, Türkiye has supported Azerbaijan.
Facts about Türkiye –
- Türkiye, also called Türkiye, lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe.
- It is surrounded on three sides by the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean Sea.
- The main portion of the Turkish state is located on the Anatolia peninsula, also known as Asia Minor, the westernmost part of Asia.
- Türkiye covers an area of 783,562 km² and has a population of 83.2 million people.
- There are two narrow straits in northwestern Türkiye, the Bosporus, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which connect the Aegean arm of the Mediterranean Sea with the Sea of Marmara.
- Capital — Ankara
- Largest city — Istanbul
- Bordering countries — It is bordered by Bulgaria and Greece to the west; Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east; Georgia to the northeast; Syria to the south; and Iraq to the southeast.
- Religion — More than 99 percent of the population is Muslim, mostly Sunni.
- Spoken Languages — Turkish (official), Kurdish, and Arabic.