Bilateral Relations Between Turkey and Poland, 4.2.2019
Turkey and Poland are among the few countries who have the privilege to share a long history of diplomatic relations extending more than 600 years. The two countries enjoy deep-rooted bilateral relations and as regional powers share similar visions for the future.
Hence, diplomatic relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Poland which were established in 1414, constitute a rare phenomenon in the world political history. Poland has always retained a unique position in the hearts and minds of Turkish people and the Ottoman Empire was the only country that did not recognize the partition of Poland which lasted 123 years.
During the Lausanne Peace Conference which followed the end of the Turkish War of Independence, a Treaty of Friendship was signed between Turkey and Poland on 23 July 1923. With this treaty, Poland became one of the first countries that recognized the young Turkish State even before it proclaimed the Republican regime.
Bilateral relations between Turkey and Poland, elevated to a strategic partnership with a declaration signed in 2009, have always been amicable and harmonious. In fact, there has been a vigorous upward trend in bilateral relations since 1989 in every area. It is also worthwile to emphasize that, in addition to the close relations at state level, the human relations between Turks and Poles have always been warm and sincere throughout history. On these strong fundamentals, Turkey and Poland, as two friendly nations, have a vast potential of opportunities to further develop their multi-faceted cooperation and relations in each and every field.
In international fora, Polish aspiration to become a member of the NATO was ardently supported by Turkey and upon Polish accession to the NATO in 1999, the two friendly countries became also allies. As two staunch members of the NATO alliance, Turkey and Poland, share similar views on key foreign policy and security issues. Poland, as a country with strategic vision, has steadily supported Turkey’s EU accession process leading to full membership.
The frequency of high level visits between Turkey and Poland demonstrate the two countries’excellent political relations. Lastly, President H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid an officialvisit to Poland on 17 October 2017. During the visit a Turkey-Poland Business Forum was held with the participation of over 500 Turkish and Polish businessmen and a target for increasing bilateral trade volume to 10 billion USD was set. The current level of the trade volume is approximately 6,5 billions USD. The main export goods from Turkey to Poland include textile products, automotive parts, fruits and vegetables, tobacco and white goods and Polish exports to Turkey are mainly coal, chemical products, machinery and parts, furniture and cosmetics. Tourism is also an important area of cooperation, whereby the annual number of Polish tourists visiting Turkey has exceeded the 650 thousand mark in 2018. This equates to a 120 per cent increase over the prior year.
Cooperation in the area of culture and education is also an important aspect of our bilateral relations. There are Turcology departments in the University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University (Krakow) and the Poznan Adam Mickiewicz University. Poland is also one of the mostdesired Erasmus destinations for Turkish university students. The number of Turkish students studying in Poland is expected to continue increasing in the future. Furthermore, the Yunus Emre Institute in Warsaw plays an important role in enhancing our cultural cooperation.
Including these students, approximately 12.000 Turkish citizens currently reside in Poland. Many of our citizens who reside in Poland have either established companies or they work in management or engineering positions in Polish and multinational companies.
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