Relations between Turkey and Latvia

Turkey recognized the independence of Latvia in 1925. The first Turkish Embassy in the Baltics was opened in Riga in 1929. The occupation and annexation of Latvia by the Soviet Union has never been recognized by Turkey. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established on 3 September 1991. Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation was signed on 12 July 1994 between the two countries.

Bilateral relations between Turkey and Latvia have been developing steadily on the basis of Tukey’s support for Latvia’s NATO membership and Latvia’s support for Turkey’s EU membership.

H.E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Latvia on 22-23 October 2014 and former President of the Republic of Latvia H.E. Andris Berzins’ visit to Turkey on 16-17 April 2014 were considered as significant mile stones for providing a new momentum to promising bilateral relations.

H.E. Edgars Rinkevics, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, visited Turkey on 29 September 2016.

Turkey has been contributing to the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) based in Riga with a military personnel since December 2018.

In 2018, the overall volume of trade between the two countries reached 291 million Dollars (Turkish exports 126 million Dollars; imports 165 million Dollars).

In the period of 2002-2018, total amount of direct investments from Latvia to Turkey amounts to 91 million Dollars. This figure is 74 million Dollars from Turkey to Latvia in the same period.

Turkey is the most preferred tourism destination for Latvian people. In 2018, approximately 66 thousand Latvian tourists visited Turkey.

Latvian Academy of Culture has a Turcology department since 2011. Turkish is also taught at the University of Latvia.

In the Turkish martyrs cemetery in the town of Cesis lie some of the prisoners of war who were taken hostage during the 1977-1878 War between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire and were taken to Latvia, which was then a part of the territory of Russia.

Around 200 Turkish citizens live in Latvia.

Turkey has an Honorary Consulate in Jurmala, and Latvia has Honorary Consulates in Adana, Alanya, Antalya, Bursa and İstanbul.