Turkey–United Arab Emirates relations

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Turkey– United Arab Emirates relations
Map indicating locations of Turkey and United Arab Emirates


United Arab Emirates

Turkey–United Arab Emirates relations are the diplomatic relations established between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Both countries share extensive cultural, military and economic ties.[1]

Turkey is recently one of the UAE's largest trading partners, with USD $9 billion in annual bilateral trade volume - triggering a rise of 800 percent in the last seven years;[2] the year of 2008 saw foreign trade figures reveal Turkey as one of the UAE’s top 10 biggest suppliers while over the past five years (2004-2008), UAE’s exports to Turkey have increased six-fold. In an attempt to enhance tourism bonds, the UAE launched new Etihad Airways flights to Istanbul in 2009, serving the city four times a week.[3] The chief executive of Etihad Airways remarked "Abu Dhabi and Istanbul share a common bond in that they are two proud and historic cities with ambitious plans to continue sustainable growth, mutual understanding and respect."

Emirati businessmen have been encouraged to invest in Turkey, as part of Turkey's ongoing privatization efforts.[4] In 2010, both sides pledged on improving commercial relations through common projects and convene officials in the future to determine possible areas of cooperation.[5]

There is considerable Turkish presence in the UAE including Turkish construction companies which have put their signature on many developments in the region. In addition, there is a small community of Turks in the United Arab Emirates. According to the Turkish embassy, the number of Turkish companies established in the UAE is over 400, with 75 of those operating in and around Abu Dhabi.

More recently, relations between the two countries have soured over differing attitudes to the Egyptian crisis and its aftermath, with Turkey backing the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and the UAE supporting military rule under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and thus the UAE is considered the most hostile member of the Gulf Cooperation Council to Turkey.[6]

The UAE has been accused of supporting the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt, with a series of leaked emails in June 2017 by the UAE's Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, lending credence to this allegation.[7][8][9]