Malaysia–Turkey relations

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Malaysia–Turkey relations
Map indicating locations of Malaysia and Turkey



Malaysia–Turkey relations (Malay: Hubungan Malaysia–Turki; Turkish: Malezya–Türkiye ilişkileri) refers to foreign relations between Malaysia and Turkey. Turkey has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Ankara.[1] Both countries are the full members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Both countries are also classed as regional powers and middle powers in their respective regions.


The relations between the two countries can be traced back during the Malay sultanate era and the Ottoman Empire.[2] From 19th century, relations between the Malay Sultanates and the Ottomans remained intact, bolstered by close personal ties between Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor, who made several visits to Istanbul.[2] On the occasion of Sultan Abu Bakar’s visit in 1890, he and his brother, Engku Abdul Majid, married Turkish women.[2] These marriages has further strengthened the bilateral relationship and produced a mixed Malay-Turkish descendants such as Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Ungku Aziz and Tun Hussein Onn.[3] Today, the modern relations of both countries has started since 1964.[4] Prime Minister Najib Razak visited Turkey on 17 April 2014 to extend bilateral trades between the two countries and signed FTA.[5] Some economic agreements has been establish between the two countries such as Strategic Framework Agreement and Free Trade Agreement.[6][7] Beside that, the visa requirements for both countries visits also has been abolished.[6][8][9] Both countries also currently forging greater co-operation in trade and investment especially linkages in the Islamic financial industry between the two markets.[10] Turkey also currently looking on Malaysia to become one of its trading partner in the ASEAN region.[11]

Security relations[edit]

Currently, the Turkish defence industry company has sign several accords with Malaysian partner which worth around $600 million deal for armoured vehicles production.[9] The other Turkish firms also has signed deals with Malaysian partners to modernise the Malaysian military systems.[9]

On 12 May 2017, Malaysia deported three Turkish suspects over their alleged involvement with the Gülen movement, an organisation which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the Turkish government.[12] Following this, the Malaysian government was accused by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) for enabling the persecution of government critics of the administration under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by unlawfully turning over Turkish nationals who fled from the crackdown launched by their President under the request of their government.[13] Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Ahmad Zahid Hamidi denied the detention was based on order from the Turkish government, while explaining that the arrests were made after receiving information from the Counter-Messaging Centre (CMC) in relation to their involvement in an organisation that deemed illegal in their country.[14]


  1. ^ "Relations between Turkey and Malaysia". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Asmady Idris and Ömer Kurtbağ (19 November 2013). "Malaysia-Turkey Relations in History and Today". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Abd Jalil Borham. "Pengaruh Khilafah Othmaniyyah Turki dalam pentadbiran Kerajaan Johor bagi memartabatkan sebuah negara Islam merdeka di Asia Tenggara" (PDF) (in Malay). Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Selcuk Colakoglu (20 January 2014). "A new page in Turkey-Malaysia relations". Turkish Weekly. Archived from the original on 21 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Wani Muthiah (17 April 2014). "Najib in Turkey to boost trade ties". The Star. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Malaysia-Turkey ties set to grow stronger, says Najib". The Borneo Post. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Malaysia-Turkey Free Trade Agreement (MTFTA)". Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia. 27 November 2012. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "No visa necessary for Turkey travel". The Malaysian Insider. 23 February 2011. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c "Turkey, Malaysia seek 'strategic' ties, sign deals". Hurriyet Daily News. 23 February 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Mushtak Parker (7 November 2011). "Malaysia and Turkey exploring opportunities in 'New Silk Route'". Arab News. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Omar Mirzan (15 February 2012). "Turkey wants Malaysia to be main Asean trade partner". The Edge Financial Day, The Edge Malaysia. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Mehmet Ozay; Sertac Bulur; Meryem Goktas (12 May 2017). "Malaysia hands over 3 FETO suspects to Turkey". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "SCF Report On Malaysia Exposes Abductions By Erdoğan's Long Arm In Asia". Stockholm Center for Freedom. 13 May 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "Zahid denies trio arrested on orders from Turkish govt". Bernama. The Borneo Post. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 

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