Relations between Turkey and Malaysia

Turkey’s formal diplomatic relations with Malaysia date back to 1964. Turkey and Malaysia enjoy a broad-based partnership that is based on close bilateral relations.

On 10 January 2014, then Prime Minister H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak announced the elevation of Turkey-Malaysia relationship to a Strategic Partnership. The Strategic Partnership recognises the progress made since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, and the depth of political, economic, and cultural ties.

Turkey and Malaysia share common perspective on a broad range of regional and global issues as members of the UN, Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and D-8. Malaysia assumed the Chairmanship of ASEAN during 2015 and non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for the term 2015-2016.

Malaysia is one of ASEAN’s five founding members. In 2015, Malaysia chaired ASEAN and East Asia Summit. Upon Malaysia’s invitation, Turkish Foreign Minister participated in the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and Post Ministerial Conferences held in Kuala Lumpur on 4-6 August 2015.

Under the 2015 Turkish G20 Presidency, Malaysia was invited, as ASEAN chair, to the G-20 Summit held in Antalya on 15-16 November 2015. Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri’ Najib Razak met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the margins of the Summit.

Both countries have concluded a bilateral Free Trade Agreement in 2014, which came into force on 1 August 2015. It is the first FTA that Turkey implements with an ASEAN member.

In 2016, the number of Malaysian citizens registered as residents in Turkey was around 300 while number of Turkish citizens residing in Manila is 600. Under Turkiye Scholarships, 129 Malaysian students have been awarded scholarship higher education at Turkish universities. During the 2016-2017 academic year, Turkey has provided 26 scholarships to Malaysian students.