Bilateral and Economical Relations between Türkiye and Canada

The establishment of diplomatic relations between Türkiye and Canada goes back to 1943. In June 1943, Türkiye conveyed to Canada its desire to open an Embassy in Ottawa. Canada responded favorably, and the first Turkish Ambassador to Canada, Mr. Mehmet Ali Şevki Ilhan, presented his credentials on 6 March 1944. His counterpart, Major General Victor W. Odlum, presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Türkiye on 26 November 1947, becoming the first Canadian Ambassador to Türkiye.

Türkiye and Canada are both members of NATO, OSCE, OECD and the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) in the UN as well as the G20.

Cooperation within the framework of NATO, developments in Ukraine, Syria, Nagorno-Karabakh and the fight against terrorism constitute the most significant dimensions of bilateral relations. More recently, issues related to defense industry cooperation have also come to the forefront of the bilateral agenda. The Canadian government’s position and the resolutions adopted by both Chambers of the Canadian Parliament regarding the events of 1915 adversely affect Turkish-Canadian relations.

President Erdoğan had a phone conversation with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 5 March 2022. Regional issues, including developments in Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations were discussed.

Minister Çavuşoğlu held bilateral meetings with his Canadian counterpart Mélanie Joly on 6 April 2022 in Brussels and on 18 May 2022 in New York.

Inter-parliamentary Friendship Groups were established in both countries. The Canadian side of the Friendship Group was initiated in June 1996. On the other hand, the Turkish side to the Turkish-Canadian Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group was initiated on 5 January 2012. The Chairman of Türkiye-Canada Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group is Mr. Yusuf Başer, Member of Parliament at the Turkish Grand National Assembly. The Co-Chairs of the Canada-Türkiye Friendship Group are Member of Parliament Julie Dzerowicz and Senator Mobina Jaffer.

The Speaker of the Senate of Canada George Furey visited Türkiye on September 21-24, 2022 and had bilateral meetings with Mustafa Şentop, the President of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye, as well as Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism and Mahmut Özer, Minister of National Education. Speaker Furey also attended the opening ceremony of the Caribou Monument, which was erected in Gelibolu in memory of Canadian soldiers who lost their lives during the Çanakkale Wars.

The bilateral trade volume between Türkiye and Canada, which was 2,1 billion U.S. Dollars in 2020, increased to 2,76 billion U.S. Dollars in 2021.

On 8 June 2019, Türkiye and Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO), with an aim of expanding bilateral trade and investment opportunities. The first JETCO meeting was held on 13-14 November 2019 in Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines has direct flights to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. In 2020, 34.210 Canadian tourists visited Türkiye. This number increased to 72.034 in 2021.

Around 65,000 people of Turkish origin live in Canada. The majority of the Turkish-Canadian community is concentrated in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Edmonton.