Relations Between Turkey and Canada

The establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Canada dates back to 1943 when Turkey conveyed to Canada its intent to open an Embassy in Ottawa, and Canada responded favorably. In 1944, Turkey established an Embassy in Ottawa and the first Turkish Ambassador to Canada, Mr. Mehmet Ali Şevki İlhan, presented his credentials on 6 March 1944. His Canadian counterpart in Turkey, Major General Victor W. Odlum, presented his credentials on 26 November 1947, becoming the first Canadian Ambassador to Turkey.

During the Cold War, relations between Turkey and Canada evolved mainly around military and security cooperation within the framework of NATO. The two allies have been working side by side in the pursuit of a more peaceful and stable world, cooperating within the UN, OECD and the OSCE among other multilateral frameworks. They took part in various international peacekeeping operations. Canada participated in the UNFICYP (UN Force in Cyprus) with a sizeable troop presence until 1993.

With the establishment of the G-20 in 1999, the two countries used this common forum to discuss issues on global economy and finance.

Turkey and Canada have also a growing bilateral cooperation especially on economic and defense issues.

Nevertheless, the Canadian Government’s position and the resolutions adopted by both Chambers of the Canadian Parliament regarding the events of 1915, which contradict the historical facts, had an adverse effect on the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Inter-parliamentary Friendship Groups operate within the Parliaments of both countries. Within the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the Turkey-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group was created on 5 January 2012 and Member of Parliament Yusuf Başer serves as the current Chair. In Canada, the Canada-Turkey Parliamentary Friendship Group, which was created in June 1996, is currently chaired by Hon. Julie Dzerowicz.

The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries reached 2.46 billion U.S. Dollars in 2019. Over 350 Canadian companies have investments in Turkey, mostly in the fields of energy, mining, information technology and infrastructure.

Turkish Airlines operates direct flights to Toronto and Montreal (due to Covid-19 pandemic, scheduled flights are temporarily suspended).

Around 65,000 people of Turkish origin live in Canada. The majority of the Turkish-Canadian community is concentrated in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Edmonton.

131,445 Canadian tourists visited Turkey in 2019 (as of November).