Relations between Turkey and Latvia

Turkey recognized the independence of Latvia in 1925. The first Turkish Embassy in the Baltics was opened in Riga in 1929. The occupation and annexation of Latvia by the Soviet Union has never been recognized by Turkey. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established on 3 September 1991. Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation was signed on 12 July 1994 between the two countries.

Bilateral relations between Turkey and Latvia have been developing steadily on the basis of Tukey’s support for Latvia’s NATO membership and Latvia’s support for Turkey’s EU membership.

H.E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Latvia on 22-23 October 2014 and former President of the Republic of Latvia H.E. Andris Berzins’ visit to Turkey on 16-17 April 2014 were considered as significant mile stones for providing a new momentum to promising bilateral relations.

H.E. Edgars Rinkevics, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, visited Turkey on 29 September 2016.

In 2017, the overall volume of trade between the two countries reached 269 million USD (exports 128 million US Dollars; imports 141 million US Dollars).

Main items of Turkey’s exports to Latvia consist of automotive supply industry products, textile products, jewelry, mineral oils, machine-made carpets, central heating boilers, radiators, packing materials and cables while the main items of its imports from Latvia include metal and metal products, mineral oils, livestock, plywood and plates.

In the period of 2002-2017, total amount of direct investments from Latvia to Turkey amounts to 91 million USD. This figure is 72 million USD from Turkey to Latvia in the same period.

Turkey is the most preferred tourism destination for Latvian people. In 2017, more than 46 thousand Latvian tourists visited Turkey.

Latvian Academy of Culture has a Turcology department since 2011. Turkish is also taught at the University of Latvia.

In the Turkish martyrs cemetery in the town of Cesis lie some of the prisoners of war who were taken hostage during the 1977-1878 War between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire and were taken to Latvia, which was then a part of the territory of Russia.