Turks began immigrating to South Africa during the 19th century. In 1889, the Ottoman Turks sent and maintained Honorary Consulates in Johannesburg and Durban. By April 1914, Mehmet Remzi Bey was assigned as Consul General of the Ottoman Empire to Johannesburg; he died in 1916 and was buried in the Braamfontein cemetery in Johannesburg. On 21 November 2011, his remains were transferred to a memorial garden at the Nizamiye Mosque in Johannesburg.
At the request of the members of the sizeable Muslim community who were living in the Cape Colony, the Ottoman government sent Abu Bakr Efendi to Cape Town to teach as well as preach Islam and help settle religious matters among Muslims. His descendants still live in various parts of South Africa.