Relations between Turkey and Sweden

Political relations between Turkey and Sweden dates back to the beginning of the 17thcentury. The King of Sweden, Karl XII, took refuge in the Ottoman Empire after his defeat against Russia in 1709 during the Great Northern War. He ruled his country for five years from the then Ottoman territory, Bender and Edirne, respectively.

The contractual basis of the relations between the two countries was established by the Trade Agreement and the Alliance for Peace, Unity and Friendship signed in 1737 and in 1739, respectively, between the Ottoman Empire and Kingdom of Sweden. While the first representative of the Republic of Turkey in Sweden, Laik Mukbil Bey served as Charge d’Affaires between the years of 1923-1926, Sweden established a permanent diplomatic presence in Istanbul back in 1730s.

Two countries signed a Friendship Agreement in 1924 soon after the founding of the Republic of Turkey and reinforced their historical relations in the new era.

The relations between Turkey and Sweden are progressing in a positive manner. Sweden is among the countries supporting Turkey’s EU membership bid.

Bilateral relations between Turkey and Sweden have gained “strategic” character since the signing of the “Declaration of Strategic Partnership” during the State Visit of the 11th Turkish President H.E. Abdullah Gül to Sweden on 11-13 March 2013.

The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Sweden was 3,192 billion USD (exports 1.415 billion USD, imports 1.777 billion USD) in 2017, which corresponds to an increase of 18 percent compared to the year before.

Turkey’s exports to Sweden can be mainly categorized as textile and ready-to-wear products (Turkey is Sweden’s third biggest supplier in textile), motor vehicles and parts, televisions, refrigerators and ceramic products. The prominent goods of Turkey’s imports from Sweden are iron and steel products, machinery and parts, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, drugs and other chemicals.

Total amount of direct investments from Sweden to Turkey in the period of 2002- 2017 is 30 million USD, while the figure is 95 million USD from Turkey to Sweden in the same period.

Declaration on the Establishment of Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) between Turkey and Sweden was signed on 10 August 2014.

The number of Swedish tourists visiting Turkey amounted to nearly 290 thousand in 2017.

Turcology Department in Uppsala University has 170 years of history. During the state visit of the 11th Turkish President, H.E. Abdullah Gül on 10-13 March 2013, the “Turkish Research Institute” was opened at the Stockholm University.

Turkish community living in Sweden consists of around 115 thousand people. They are one of the biggest migrant communities in Sweden and represent an important component of our bilateral relations.

Currently, there are eight members at the Swedish Parliament whose origins are from Turkey. Moreover, origin of a member of the incumbent Swedish Government is from Turkey.