Turkish-Latvian Political Relations, 25.8.2020
Turkey recognized the Republic of Latvia in 1925 and opened her first diplomatic mission accredited to all Baltic countries in Riga in 1929. The occupation and annexation of Latvia by the Soviet Union was never recognized by Turkey. Following the disintegration of the former USSR and declaration of independence of Latvia of March 4, 1990, diplomatic relations between Turkey and Latvia have been re-established with a joint declaration in Riga on 22 October 1991. The Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation was signed on 12 July 1994.
Latvian Embassy in Ankara has officially opened in April 2004, during the official visit of the then President of Latvia, H.E. Ms. Vaira Vike-Freiberga. The Turkish Embassy in Riga, has been reciprocally opened in September 2005. The development of all aspects of bilateral relations has been accelerated through the opening of resident Embassies in Ankara and in Riga.
Bilateral relations between Turkey and Latvia are developing steadily. Latvia's NATO and EU memberships have brought the two countries much closer in terms of common objectives. Latvia, which took over the EU Presidency on January 1st 2015, renders support for Turkey's EU membership.
H.E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Latvia on 22-23 October 2014 was important for maintaining the momentum of mutual high level visits.
In 2014, the total trade volume between the two countries reached 361,3 million USD (exports 193,5 million; imports 167,8 million).
Main items of Turkey's exports to Latvia are automotive supply industry products, textile products, jewelry, mineral oils, machine-made carpets, central heating boilers, radiators, packing materials and cables while the main items of its imports from Latvia are metal and metal products, mineral oils, livestock, plywood and plates.
In the period of 2002-2014, total amount of direct investments from Latvia to Turkey is 86 million USD. This figure is 60 million USD from Turkey to Latvia in the same period.
Turkey is the most preferred tourism destination for Latvian people. In 2014, nearly 60 thousand Latvian tourists visited Turkey.
In Latvia, there are two Turkology departments, which were established in 2004 and 2011, under University of Latvia and the Latvian Academy of Culture respectively.
145 Turkish citizen are resident in Latvia as of 2016.
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