Relations between Turkey and Switzerland

Bilateral diplomatic relations with Switzerland began in 1899 – 1900, when the Ottoman Empire accredited its Ambassador in Brussels to the Swiss Confederation. Between 1908 and 1915, there was a gap in the diplomatic representation between the two countries. However, as of 1915, the Ottoman Empire has appointed an Ambassador to Switzerland with residence in Bern. On 1 November 1922, the Turkish Embassy started to represent the transition government of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. After the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish Embassy in Bern was administered at the level of Chargé d’Affaires.

In 1925, Mehmet Münir Ertegün, as the first Envoy of the Republic of Turkey to Switzerland, presented his letter of credentials to the President of the Swiss Confederation. The same year, an “Agreement of Friendship” between the Republic of Turkey and Switzerland was signed. Switzerland on the other hand, opened its first diplomatic mission in Istanbul / Turkey, in 1925. The first Swiss Envoy presented his letter of credentials to Atatürk in 1928. The Swiss mission in Istanbul was moved to Ankara in 1934 and became an Embassy in 1957.

The Turkish community in Switzerland, with its approximately 130.000 members, constitutes a key element in the relations between Turkey and Switzerland.

In 2009, Switzerland played the role of facilitator in the process that resulted in the signature of the two protocols aiming to establish diplomatic relations and the development of bilateral relations between Turkey and Armenia.

Bilateral relations with Switzerland are developing positively, in line with reciprocal high-level visits. A milestone in bilateral relations was former President Pascal Couchepin’s visit to Turkey in November 2008. Two years later, in November 2010, President Abdullah Gül became the first Turkish President to pay an official visit to Switzerland. These contacts on the highest level allowed the parties to assess all aspects of bilateral relations.

Former President Micheline Calmy-Rey visited Turkey to hold a speech at the Ambassadors Conference in 26-27 December 2011. Federal Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis paid an official visit to Turkey on 12 July 2019.

Contacts and consultations on numerous issues of common concern continue to further bilateral relations.