When Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, Turkey became one of the first countries to officially announce its diplomatic recognition of sovereign Kosovo. Turkey turned its coordination office in Pristina into an Embassy after a cabinet decision to open a mission in Kosovo. The decision comes in accordance with the reciprocity principle common in diplomatic relations, when Kosovo announced that it was planning to open one of its first foreign missions in Ankara.
In October 2013, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was on an official state visit to Kosovo, he caused outrage in Serbia when he controversially stated in a speech "We all belong to a common history, common culture, common civilisation; we are the people who are brethren of that structure. Do not forget, Turkey is Kosovo, Kosovo is Turkey!"
The number of ethnic Albanian Kosovars living in Turkey is estimated to be higher than that of those living in Kosovo itself. Kosovo is the home of Mehmet Akif Ersoy, writer of the Turkish National Anthem, and many other notable Turks. There are 20,000 Turks living in Kosovo, and Turkish is one of the official regional languages of Kosovo.
When the Ottomans left the region, many Turks and Albanians migrated to Turkey, so ties between the two nations were active.
Turkey participated in the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, which resulted in a UN administration of Kosovo and then to eventual independence. Turkey currently has 540 troops serving in Kosovo as peacekeepers in the NATO led Kosovo Force.
Notes and references
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments normalised relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognised as an independent state by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- Turkey to open embassy in Kosovo
- "Erdogan: 'Kosovo Is Turkey'". al-monitor.com. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=96917 A baby brother to Turkey, Kosovo born in Europe
- Milliyet, Türkiyedeki Kürtlerin Sayısı. 2008-06-06.
- Kosovo in figures 2005
- "Turkish Air Force". Hvkk.tsk.tr. Archived from the original on 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- "Kosovo Force (KFOR)" www.nato.int Link accessed 21-07-09
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