Relations Between Turkey and Canada

The establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Canada goes back to 1943. In June 1943, Turkey conveyed to Canada its desire to open an Embassy in Ottawa. Canada responded favorably, and the first Turkish Ambassador to Canada, Mr. Mehmet Ali Şevki Ilhan, presented his credentials on 6 March 1944. His counterpart, Major General Victor W. Odlum, presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Turkey on 26 November 1947, becoming the first Canadian Ambassador to Turkey.

During the Cold War, political relations between Turkey and Canada evolved mainly around military and security cooperation within NATO. The two allies have also been working side by side in pursuit of a more peaceful and stable world, cooperating within the UN, OECD and the OSCE frameworks. In this vein, they took part in various international peacekeeping operations. Canada also participated in the UNFICYP (UN Force in Cyprus) with a sizeable troop presence until 1993.

Since the establishment of the G-20 on 25 September 1999, the two countries found a common forum where they could discuss global economy and finance.

The Canadian government’s position and the resolutions adopted by both Chambers of the Canadian Parliament regarding the events of 1915 contradict historical facts and adversely affect Turkish-Canadian relations.

Inter-parliamentary Friendship Groups were established in both countries. The Canadian side of the Friendship Group was initiated in June 1996. The Turkish side to the Turkish-Canadian Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group was initiated on 5 January 2012.

The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries reached 1.761 billion US Dollars in 2020. 377 Canadian companies have investments in Turkey, mostly in the fields of energy, mining, information technology and infrastructure.

On June 8, 2019, Turkey and Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO), with an aim of expanding bilateral trade and investment opportunities. The first JETCO meeting was held on November 13-14, 2019, in Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines has direct flights to Toronto and Montreal. Meanwhile direct flights to Vancouver is projected to start as of spring 2021. ( Flights are subject to change due to Covid-19 pandemic)

Around 65,000 people of Turkish origin live in Canada. The majority of the Turkish-Canadian community is concentrated in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Edmonton.

In 2019, 131.445 and in 2020, 33.314 Canadian tourists visited Turkey.