Bilateral Relations

Türkiye recognised the Republic of Estonia on 23 January 1924. Prior to World War II the Turkish ambassador to Estonia was Nuri Batu, who presented his credentials on 19 September 1935. Nine ambassadors resided in Tallinn at the time, and at that point Türkiye only had 20 embassies around the world.

Türkiye never recognised the Soviet annexation of Estonia. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were restored on 23 October 1991, after Estonia had regained its independence. The following year Türkiye appointed an ambassador to Estonia, residing in Vilnius. On 1 October 2001 Türkiye opened its own embassy in Tallinn. Since then the country has been represented in Estonia by ambassadors Ömer Altuğ, Fatma Şule Soysal, Ayşenur Alpaslan, Ahmet Ülker, Hayriye Kumaşçıoğlu and İnan Özyıldız. The current Turkish ambassador to Estonia is Başak Türkoğlu, who presented her credentials to President Alar Karis on 17 August 2022.

After Estonia regained its independence, Sven Jürgenson became the country’s first ambassador to Türkiye (residing in Tallinn) in 1996. Estonia opened an embassy in Ankara in February 2001. The country’s ambassadors to Türkiye have been Märt Volmer, Aivo Orav, Miko Haljas, Marin Mõttus and Annely Kolk. From 1st of August 2023 the Estonian ambassador to Türkiye is Väino Reinart.

Cooperation is promoted in the spheres of business and culture and issues faced by Estonian citizens in Türkiye are addressed by five honorary consuls in the country: Tuncay Özilhan in Istanbul, Ethem Okudur in Antalya, Barış Kaya in Bursa, Zeyyat Kafkas in Trabzon and Nebil Taşçı in Mersin.

The 9-member Estonian-Turkish parliamentary group in the Riigikogu is led by Liisa-Ly Pakosta from the Party Estonia 200, while the Turkish-Estonian friendship group in the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye is led by Yusuf Ziya Yılmaz from the ruling Justice and Development Party.

Relations between Estonia and Türkiye are warm and enjoying stable development, as is reflected in the busy schedule of visits and consultations between the two countries. One of the most important events uniting the countries during new century took place in 2010 when President Toomas Hendrik Ilves visited his Turkish counterpart and both heads of state attended the premiere of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s Adam’s Lament in Istanbul. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Estonia in 2014. At the ministerial level there are normally a number of visits each year.

Estonia and Türkiye also work together as members of international organisations. The two countries are allies in NATO, and Türkiye was the first country from the southern flank of the organisation to participate in an air-policing mission in the Baltic States (2006).

Regular consultations have been held between high-ranking officials from the countries since 2010. The Estonian and Turkish parliaments also work closely together: in October 2022 a delegation of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu led by Chairman Marko Mihkelson met with colleagues in Türkiye , while in November 2022 the chairman of the same committee of the Turkish parliament Akif Çağatay Kılıç visited Tallinn.

Economic contact is growing between the two countries, and there is great interest among business people in mutually beneficial cooperation. A good example of this is the fact that the Gaziantep-based company Akinal Sentetik Tekstil was awarded the title of Most Outstanding Foreign Investor in Estonia in 2018.