Relations between Turkey and Kosovo

Bilateral Political Relations

Turkey and Kosovo enjoy excellent relations on the basis of common history and friendship ties. Turkey recognized Kosovo on 18 February 2008, the very first day following the declaration of independence. Cooperation Bureau of the Republic of Turkey in Prishtina, which was opened in 1999, was upgraded to the Embassy level in 2008. Turkish Consulate General in Prizren, where the Turkish community of Kosovo mainly resides, started operating as of 1 September 2015, standing out as the first consular mission in Kosovo.

Turkey attributes utmost importance to the stability, territorial integrity and development of Kosovo, as well as her integration with the European and Euro-Atlantic structures and consolidation of friendly and constructive relations with her neighbours in the region.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hashim Thaçi paid a bilateral visit to Turkey on 18-21 February 2015. On the occasion of the Centennial Anniversary Commemorations of the Gallipoli Wars, Thaçi visited Turkey again on 23-24 April 2015. Foreign Minister Thaçi’s most recent visit to Ankara took place on 5 November 2015.

Turkish Community of Kosovo

Turkish community of Kosovo has a population of 18.738, according to the most recent census in April 2011, which form a %1,08 of the Kosovar society. On the other hand, the approximate number of Kosovars who speak Turkish language is estimated at around 300,000. Turkish language, in line with the relevant provisions of the Kosovo Constitution, is also adopted among the official languages in the municipality areas, which are densely populated by the Turkish community.

Turkish community of Kosovo is represented by 1 Minister in the cabinet, and 2 MPs in the Assembly. Mr. Mahir Yağcılar, President of the Democratic Turkish Party of Kosovo (KDTP), currently serves as the Minister of Public Administration in the Kosovo government.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Bilateral Trade

Turkish-Kosovar bilateral trade volume was around USD 289 millions in 2013 and 2014, and amounted to USD 248.750 millions in 2015. Major proportion of this mutual trade volume is the Turkish exports to Kosovo (USD 279, 276 and 240.8 millions in 2013, 2014 and 2015).

Major Turkish exports to Kosovo: textile products, metal products, machinery and devices, plastic and paper

Major products that Turkey imports from Kosovo: textile fibre and products, metal ore ,rubber

The Free Trade Agreement between Turkey and Kosovo was signed in Ankara on 27 September 2013, which is the first FTA Kosovo has ever signed with a second party. The approval procedure on the Turkish side was completed in 2015. The FTA will enter into force once the domestic procedure for approval is also concluded in Kosovo.

2.Turkish Invesments in Kosovo

An approximate number of 500 Turkish companies operate in Kosovo. Total value of their investment is around 340 million Euros. Turkey, currently the third foreign direct investor in Kosovo after Germany and the UK between 2007-2013, was the biggest investor in Kosovo in 2012 and 2013. Significant opportunities for investment are present in Kosovo, especially in the sectors of contracting, mining and banking. The total amount of projects that have been undertaken by the Turkish contractor companies up to the year 2016 has reached an approximate 1 billion Euros.

Prishtina Branch of the Ziraat Bank launched its operations on 8 June 2015