Turkey–United Kingdom relations

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Turkish–British relations
Map indicating locations of Turkey and United Kingdom


United Kingdom

Turkish–British relations are foreign relations between the Republic of Turkey and the United Kingdom. The two nations have been at war several times, such as within the First World War. They have also been allied several times, however, such as in the Crimean War. Both countries currently maintain relations via the British Embassy in Ankara[1] and the Turkish Embassy in London.[2]

Turkey and the United Kingdom maintain good bilateral relations.[3] The President of Turkey Cevdet Sunay paid a state visit to the United Kingdom in November 1967.[4] The President of Turkey Kenan Evren paid a state visit to the United Kingdom in July 1988.[4] Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom paid state visits to Turkey in October 1971 and May 2008.[5] Britain and Turkey are both members of the G20, and Britain supports the accession of Turkey to the European Union.


In 1600, an Anglo-Moroccan alliance was formed between England and the Ottoman vassal states of the Barbary Coast.

Mandate of Palestine[edit]

Edward VIII with Turkish President, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Istanbul, (4 September 1936).
Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Queen Elizabeth II. of the UK at the Chatham House Prize ceremony, November 2010.

The Ottoman Empire, of which Palestine was a part, broke up shortly after the First World War and was officially dissolved in 1923 by the Treaty of Lausanne. Palestine was previously a part of the Ottoman Empire. Britain had declared its intention to support the creation of a Jewish "homeland" in the Balfour Declaration, 1917. The British had, in the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence, previously been in discussions with the Hashemite family concerning the concept of an independent Arab state. These discussions remained inconclusive and vague but contained the implied support from Britain of an independent Arab state in exchange for a successful Arab Revolt during World War I. The British, under General Allenby during the Arab Revolt under the guidance of British intelligence officers, the most famous being T. E. Lawrence, contributed to the defeat of the Ottoman forces in 1917 in which British and French forces occupied the Sinai and the majority of Greater Syria. The land was administered by the British for the remainder of the war.

Cyprus dispute[edit]

Main article: Cyprus dispute

The Ottoman Empire leased the island of Cyprus to the United Kingdom in 1878. The UK formally annexed Cyprus as a British colony in 1914 at the outset of the Great War. Britain maintained two sovereign military base areas on the island of Cyprus after the country's independence in 1960. In a response to a coup d'état orchestrated by the military junta of Greece to unite the island with mainland Greece Turkey invaded the island in June 1974 which had as a result more than one quarter of the population of Cyprus been expelled from the occupied northern part of the island where Greek Cypriots constituted 80% of the population. A little over a year later in 1975, there was also a flow of roughly 60,000 Turkish Cypriots from the south to the north after the conflict.[6] The Turkish invasion ended in the partition of Cyprus along the UN-monitored Green Line which still divides Cyprus. In 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) declared independence, although Turkey is the only country which recognises it.[7] The UK is a signatory to the Treaty of Guarantee, together with Greece and Turkey concerning the independence and status of Cyprus.[8]


The United Kingdom is the second biggest importer of goods from Turkey, after Germany. Turkey exports around 8% of its total goods to the United Kingdom.[9] Around 2,000,000 Britons take holidays in Turkey every year, while 100,000 Turks travel to the UK for business or pleasure.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1053446559682
  2. ^ "Turkish Embassy in London". embassyhomepage.com. 
  3. ^ http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1053446569273
  4. ^ a b "Ceremonies: State visits". Official web site of the British Monarchy. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  5. ^ "OUTWARD STATE VISITS MADE BY THE QUEEN SINCE 1952". Official web site of the British Monarchy. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY - 20 - 1974: Turkey invades Cyprus". bbc.co.uk. 
  7. ^ Salin, Ibrahm . “Cyprus: Ethnic Political Components.” Oxford: University Press of America. 2004, p.29
  8. ^ "Openning SBA Administration Official Web....n". mod.uk. 
  9. ^ "The World Factbook". cia.gov. 

External links[edit]