Relations between Turkey and Sweden

Political relations between Turkey and Sweden dates back to the beginning of the 17th century. 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 the 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.

The 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.

Bilateral relations between Turkey and Sweden have gained “strategic” character with the signing of the “Declaration of Strategic Partnership” in 2013.

The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Sweden was 3,212 billion USD (Turkish exports 1.481 billion USD, imports 1.731 billion USD) in 2018.

Turkey’s main export items to Sweden are motor cars, vehicles for the transport of goods and chromium ores, while Turkey’s main import items from Sweden consist iron ores, paper and paperboard coated with kaolin, ferrous waste and scrap and medicaments.

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

Turcology Department in Uppsala University, which is one of the oldest universities in the world, has a history of nearly 170 years. In addition, “Turkish Research Institute” was opened at the Stockholm University in March 2013.

Around 65 thousand Turkish citizens live in Sweden (the number of people originating from Turkey, including Turkish citizens, is estimated to be approximately 115 thousand). They are one of the biggest migrant communities in Sweden and represent an important component of our bilateral relations.

Currently, there are six members at the Swedish Parliament whose origins are from Turkey.

The number of Swedish tourists visiting Turkey amounted to nearly 385 thousand in 2018, corresponding to a 33 % increase compared to the previous year.