Relations between Turkey and Indonesia

Turkey and Indonesia enjoy close and multifaceted relations, with a wide range of opportunities for further cooperation. Indonesia, which is the world’s third largest democracy, is also the most populous Muslim-majority country and occupies a strategic location between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.

At the 16th century, the Sultanate of Aceh had asked the Ottoman Empire’s assistance against Portuguese aggression. Ottoman support to Aceh back then marks the beginning of official relations between two countries.

Turkey was one of the first nations that recognized Indonesia’s independence. Diplomatic relations were established in 1950 and the Turkish Embassy in Jakarta opened on 10 April 1957.

Following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, the then-Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the disaster-hit Banda Aceh region of Indonesia on 6-7 February 2005.

With increase of mutual high-level visits since 2004, the bilateral relations gained a new momentum and both countries decided to upgrade their ties to strategic partnership. H.E. Mr. Abdullah Gül, 11th President of Turkey, and H.E. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, 6th President of Indonesia, signed the joint declaration “Turkey and Indonesia: Towards an Enhanced Partnership in a New World Setting” in Jakarta in April 2011.

During the visit of H.E. President Erdoğan to Indonesia in August 2015, the Turkish-Indonesia Business Forum was held and a Memorandum of Understanding, with a view to strengthen bilateral relations in the fields of trade, investments and technology, was signed between the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN).

Recently, the official visit of President Joko Widodo to Turkey in July 2017 has brought new perspectives to our cooperation, especially in the spheres of trade, health care, energy and defence industry.

Turkey and Indonesia closely cooperate in a number of international organizations and fora, like the UN, OIC, G-20, D-8, and MIKTA. Indonesia is one of the founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Since July 2017 Turkey is a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN, and since 2010 the Turkish Embassy in Jakarta has been accredited to ASEAN.

Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia, and projected to become one of the top ten global economies by 2030. Indonesia’s dynamic population, growing middle-class and strong economic potential serve as a firm basis for further developing our bilateral trade relations.

Currently some 2.400 Indonesian citizens reside in Turkey, while some 400 Turkish citizens have their permanent residency in Indonesia. Turkish government has hitherto allocated 815 higher education scholarships to Indonesian citizens. In the 2018-2019 academic year, Turkey provided 95 scholarships to Indonesian students.