Relations between Turkey and the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Turkish Embassy in Kinshasa opened in 1974, as one of the oldest Turkish Embassies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) opened its embassy in Ankara in 2011.

11th President of the Republic of Turkey paid an official visit to the DRC on 14-16 March 2010. This visit constituted the first ever presidential visit between the two countries. The first meeting of the political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries was held in Kinshasa on 4th March, 2014, while the second round took place in Ankara on 16th February, 2016.

The then Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the DRC, H.E. Léonard She Okitundu, paid an official visit to Ankara between 22 and 25 November 2017.

In 2018, two high-level visits from the DRC to Turkey took place. First, the then Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the DRC, H.E. Léonard She Okitundu attended to the inauguration ceremony of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of the Republic of Turkey on 9th July. On 29th October, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Transportation and Communication of the DRC, H.E. José Makila was among the distinguished guests of the opening ceremony of Istanbul Airport.

These progressive high-level visits are considered as clear indicators of the mutual determination to further develop bilateral relations.

Turkey mainly imports copper, rubber, wood products and livestock from the DRC. The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and the DRC peaked to 163 million USD by 2015. Following a downward trend after this year; the total bilateral trade volume occurred at a level of 60 million USD in 2016 and 54,7 million USD in 2019.

The first meeting of the Joint Economic Commission took place in 2009 in Ankara. The DRC participated in the Turkey – Africa Economic and Business Forum, held between 2-3 November 2016 in İstanbul, with a delegation headed by Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, Former Minister of Economy. The Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) of Turkey and the Federation of Congolese Companies (FEC) signed a MoU regarding the establishment of Turkey – DRC Business Council on 6th June, 2016, in Kinshasa.

Turkish Maarif Foundation is currently running schools in DRC.

Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Kinshasa 7 times a week.

Through Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Turkey is providing development assistance to DRC in various domains.

Since 1992, government of Turkey grants scholarships to students from DRC.