Saudi Arabia–Turkey relations

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Saudi Arabian–Turkish relations
Map indicating locations of Saudi Arabia and Turkey

Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabian–Turkish relations refer to the current and historical relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The countries enjoy a friendly economic relationship,[1] but has been tense in political relationship. The former has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate–general in Istanbul; while the latter has an embassy in Riyadh and a consulate–general in Jeddah. Both countries are full members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

According to a 2013 Pew global opinion poll, Turks hold the most negative view of Saudi Arabia out of any surveyed Muslim country, with 26% expressing a favourable view and 53% expressing an unfavourable view.[2]


The Hashimite rulers of the Hejaz pledged allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan in 1517 following the Ottoman conquest of Egypt, placing the holy cities of Mecca and Medina under Ottoman Protection until the Arab revolt in 1916 when Sharif Hussayn of Mecca expelled them with the aid of Britain. Also, the Ottomans had conflicts with House of Saud, the first Saudi state which resulted to the Ottoman–Wahhabi war. Many Saudi leaders were executed in Istanbul or killed during the war.

Modern history[edit]

Relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia began in 1932, after the creation of the new Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Due to the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis, the relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia faces problems, with Turkey supporting Qatar against Saudi Arabia in the ongoing diplomatic dispute.

World Pensions Council's M. Nicolas J. Firzli has argued that the Turkish government has sought to use the crisis to its own advantage, by advancing an expansionist Neo-Ottoman agenda at the expense of the Gulf Cooperation Council:

“Turkey and a resurgent Iran for their part are cynically using the festering crisis to advance a distinct agenda: rebuilding military and economic beachheads along the ‘eastern flank’ of the Arabian Peninsula from Oman to Southern Iraq, a part of the world from which they were forced out by the Royal Navy in 1917, precisely one hundred years ago. The local chess board is getting crowded with too many avid players, at a time when many British and American policy makers seem to have lost interest in that part of the world: this doesn’t bode well for the long-term stability of the MENA.”[3]

Saudi Arabia, in response, has threatened to impose sanctions against Turkey, and has conducted discussions with the UAE on the topic of curbing “Turkish expansionist policy”. In turn, Erdoğan accused Saudi Arabia of being non-Islamic and heretics. Furthermore, Turkey has accused both Saudi Arabia and the UAE of attempting to overthrow Erdoğan and the Turkish Government.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Saudi Arabia/Turkey: Turkish Trade Minister commends Saudi-Turkish relations International Islamic News Agency, 8 February 2010
  2. ^ Saudi Arabia’s Image Falters among Middle East Neighbors Pew Research Global Attitudes Project
  3. ^ Firzli, M. Nicolas (17 June 2017). "The Qatar Crisis and the Eastern Flank of the Arab World". Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via Al Sharq Al Awsat 
  4. ^

External links[edit]