Relations between Turkey and the Gambia

Turkey and The Gambia have set up diplomatic relations as of the date of Gambia’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1965.

Bilateral relations between Turkey and The Gambia, which were initially advanced through exclusively in military domain as well as at the international fora such as the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have become more comprehensive and multifaceted after the opening of embassies in Banjul and Ankara in 2011.

As such, bilateral high level visits have substantially increased. Upon the invitation of the President of the Turkish Republic, H.E. Recep Tayip Erdoğan, Gambian President H.E. Adama Barrow paid an official visit to Turkey on 11-15 February 2018. During this visit, a large delegation consisting of Habib Drammeh, Former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Ousainou Darboe, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad and Isatou Touray, Former Minister of Trade and Regional Integration and Employment of the Republic of The Gambia, as well as the high-level bureaucrats of various government institutions accompanied President Barrow.

Mamadou Tangara Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad paid a visit to Ankara on 18-19 April 2019.

President Erdoğan, has paid an official visit to The Gambia on 27 January 2020. This constituted the first ever presidential visit to The Gambia from Turkey.

On the basis of friendly and fraternal relations existing between Turkey and The Gambia, many bilateral Agreements, Protocols and Memorandums of Understanding have already been signed.

However, due to The Gambia’s low overall trade volume as well as lack of interest from Turkish businessmen and investors, economic relations between Turkey and The Gambia could not be elevated to a significant level. Poor infrastructure transportation problems and low-income levels of the population are among the factors that play negative role over the increase of the trade volume with The Gambia.

On the other hand, commercial and economic issues between two countries have been taken up within the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) mechanism. In this framework, first meeting of the Turkey-The Gambia JEC meeting was held on 23-25 May 2014 in Banjul.

Turkish Maarif Foundation (TMV) has opened a primary school in Banjul in 2017. The Maarif Turkish International School has been in operation in Banjul since October 2017.

As of 26 November 2018, Turkish Airlines has started flights from Istanbul to Banjul twice a week.

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has opened a Program Coordination Office (PKO) in Banjul in August 2018.

Since 1992, government of Turkey grants scholarships to the Gambian students.