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Chinese–Turkish relations are foreign relations between China and Turkey. Diplomatic relations were established in 1934 and Turkey recognized the PRC on 5 August 1971. Turkey pursues One-China policy and recognizes the PRC as the sole legal representative of China. The PRC has an embassy in Ankara, and a consulate–general in Istanbul whereas Turkey has an embassy in Beijing and 2 consulates–general in Hong Kong and Shanghai. China and Turkey have been maintaining good relationship throughout, despite the former's conflict with Turkic Uyghur separatists. Recently, regional and global cooperation between the two countries have also been growing, with both sides seeking for closer ties.[1][2]

Chinese-Turkish relations
Map indicating locations of People's Republic of China and Turkey





In the 16th century, there emerged travelogues of both Ottoman travelers to China and Chinese travelers to the Ottoman world.[3]

According to the official history of the Ming Dynasty, some self-proclaimed Ottoman envoys visited Beijing to pay tribute to the Ming emperor in 1524.[4] However, no Ottoman sources substantiate any official diplomatic mission to China at that time.

Kaiser Wilhelm II was so alarmed by the Chinese Muslim troops in the Boxer Rebellion that he requested the Caliph Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire to find a way to stop the Muslim troops from fighting. The Caliph agreed to the Kaiser's request and sent Enver Pasha (not the future Young Turk leader) to China in 1901, but the rebellion was over by that time.[5][6][7]

Turkish government officials received a Chinese Muslim delegation under Wang Zengshan who denounced the Japanese invasion of China.[8]

Korean WarEdit

in 1950, United Nations Resolution 83 requested military aid for South Korea following its invasion by North Korean forces, which were assisted by China and the Soviet Union. The 5,000-strong Turkish Brigade was attached to the U.S. 25th Infantry Division, served within United Nations Command.

The Turkish Brigade fought in several major actions, including the Battle of Wawon (27–29 November 1950), against elements of the 38th Group Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and Battle of Kumyangjang-Ni (25–26 January 1951), against elements of the Chinese 50th Army. The brigade was awarded Unit Citations by both South Korea and the United States.


On 28 November 2008, Jia Qinglin, China’s top political advisor and the chairman of the People's Political Consultative Conference, gave an official goodwill visit to Turkey as guest of Turkish Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan. In Ankara, Jia met Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After visiting Ankara, Jia attended a business forum entitled "Turkish-Chinese Economic and Commercial Opportunities Forum" in İstanbul.[9]

Turkish President Abdullah Gül has become the first Turkish president to visit China in 14 years with his official visit between on 24–29 June 2009.[10][11] Gül said one of the major goals of his visit was to boost economic relations.[12] In Beijing, Gül hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao and attended a Turkey-China business forum.[13] Following the meetings, seven cooperation agreements were signed between the two countries in the fields of energy, banking, finance and culture.[14] After Beijing, Gül visited Xian, and he was awarded with an honorary doctorate by the Xian Northwest University.[15] In the third leg of his China trip, Gül visited Shenzhen.[16] Upon an invitation of the Beijing administration, Gül also visited Urumqi, and has become the first Turkish president visiting Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.[17]

2009 riotsEdit

Initially in response to the July 2009 Ürümqi riots, the Foreign Ministry of Turkey urged the Chinese authorities to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.[18] But some officials disagreed: a deputy from ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party resigned from the Turkey-China Interparliamentary Friendship Group,[19] and in his personal capacity, Turkey's industry and trade minister called on Turks to boycott Chinese goods to protest the continuing ethnic violence,[20][21] to which the Chinese chargé d'affaires in Ankara expressed "surprise".[22] After daily demonstrations in Ankara and Istanbul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan strengthened his rhetoric and said "These incidents in China are as if they are genocide. We ask the Chinese government not to remain a spectator to these incidents."[23] China demanded that Recep Tayyip Erdogan retract his accusation; editorials in the state-run China Daily pointed out that 137 of the 184 victims of the unrest were Han Chinese.[24] A phone conversation between China and Turkey's respective foreign ministers reaffirmed the importance of Turkish-Chinese relations, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey did not intend "to interfere with the domestic affairs of China".[25]


On 7 October 2010, China and Turkey signed eight cooperation agreements relating to trade, cultural and technical exchange, marine cooperation, and other things. At the signing ceremony attended by both of the countries' prime ministers, both pledged to increase bilateral trade to $50 billion by 2015, and to cooperate in building high-speed rail to link Ankara to Istanbul.[26] Later in November, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu toured China for six days and met with his counterpart Yang Jiechi, after Chinese premier Wen Jiabao visited Turkey and upgraded the China–Turkey relationship to a "strategic partnership". Among the joint pledges the foreign ministers made in China were to start a Turkish industrial zone in Xinjiang[27] and to jointly crack down on separatism and terrorism, including on anti-China separatist activities in Turkey.[28] Commentators have cited these stronger ties as further proof of a realignment of Turkish foreign policy to the "East".[27]

Rebiya Kadeer claimed that Turkey is hampered from interfering with Uyghurs because Turkey recognizes its own Kurdish issue problems, which may get interfered with by China in retaliation.[29]

2015 anti-China protests in TurkeyEdit

On 4 July 2015, 2,000 Turkish nationalists protesting against China fasting ban mistakenly attack Korean tourists in Istanbul which led to China issuing travel warning to its citizens traveling to Turkey.[30][31] The ruling AKP party in power in Turkey has different factions, some of them nationalists who want to inflame tensions with China over Uyghurs, and other pragmatic members who want to maintain good relations with China and believe the Uyghur issue is being abused to spoil relations between China and Turkey by the United States, some other Islamist AKP have accused Rebiya Kadeer of being an "American agent" and "infidel".[32] Turkey has had to follow its own country's interests first with a pragmatic approach to the situation of Turkic peoples in other countries like Uyghurs, Gagauz, and Crimean Tatars.[33]

Devlet Bahçeli, a leader from Turkey's MHP (Nationalist Movement Party), said that the attacks by MHP affiliated Turkish youth on South Korean tourists was "understandable", telling the Turkish news paper Hurriyet that: "What feature differentiates a Korean from a Chinese? They see that they both have slanted eyes. How can they tell the difference?".[34] Another translation of his remarks was : "What is the difference between a Korean and a Chinese anyway? They both have slitty eyes. Does it make any difference?"[35][36] A Uighur staffed, Turkish owned Chinese restaurant was assaulted by Turkish nationalists, who have also attacked the Dutch consulate which they thought was the Russian consulate.[37][38]

Xinjiang conflictEdit

Turkish connections were used by Uyghur fighters to go into Syria and the humanitarian Uyghur East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) which is located in Turkey sent Uyghurs into Syria, endorsed the killing of the pro-China Imam Juma Tayir, applauded attacks in China, and posted on its website content from the TIP.[39]

The Ambassador of Syria to China, Imad Moustapha, has accused Turkey of facilitating the entry of Uighur jihadists into Syria.[40]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Turkey eyes stronger regional and global role with closer China ties".
  2. ^ "Xi congratulates Erdogan on re-election as Turkish president".
  3. ^ Chen, Yuan Julian (February 2016). "Between Two Universal Empires: Ottoman-China Connections in the Sixteenth Century". Yale InterAsia Connections Conference: Alternative Asias: Currents, Crossings, Connection, 2016.
  4. ^ Chase, Kenneth Warren (2003). Firearms: A Global History to 1700 (illustrated, reprint ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 141. ISBN 0521822742. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  5. ^ Kemal H. Karpat (2001). The politicization of Islam: reconstructing identity, state, faith, and community in the late Ottoman state. Oxford University Press US. p. 237. ISBN 0-19-513618-7.
  6. ^ Harris, Lillian Craig (1993). China Considers the Middle East (illustrated ed.). I. B. Tauris. p. 56. ISBN 1850435987. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  7. ^ The Moslem World, Volumes 1-3. Contributor Hartford Seminary Foundation. Hartford Seminary Foundation. 1966. p. 190. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  8. ^ LEI, Wan (February 2010). "The Chinese Islamic "Goodwill Mission to the Middle East" During the Anti-Japanese War". DÎVÂN DİSİPLİNLERARASI ÇALIŞMALAR DERGİSİ. cilt 15 (sayı 29): 156, 157, 158. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Top Chinese Advisor in Istanbul to Attend Business Forum". Cihan News Agency. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  10. ^ "Turkish President Arrives in China for Official Visit". Cihan News Agency. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  11. ^ "President Gul Arrives in China". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  12. ^ "Turkey Willing to be in Close Touch with Far-East". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  13. ^ "Presidents of Turkey, China Hold Talks". Cihan News Agency. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  14. ^ "China, Turkey sign seven cooperation agreements". Cihan News Agency. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  15. ^ "Turkey Pursues A Foreign Policy Safeguarding Security, President Gul". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  16. ^ "Turkish President Gul Visits Shenzhen, Third Leg of China trip". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  17. ^ "Turkish President Arrives in Urumchi". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  18. ^ "Tension runs high as China cracks down on Uyghur riot". Today's Zaman. 7 July 2009.
  19. ^ "Turkish Lawmaker Reacts to China, Resigns from Parliamentary Friendship Group". Anadolu Agency. 8 July 2009.
  20. ^ "Turkish pressure mounting on China to stop killings in Xinjiang". Today's Zaman. 9 July 2009.
  21. ^ "Turkey calls for boycott of Chinese goods". The Times of India. 9 July 2009.
  22. ^ "China warns Turkey: visa for Rebia Kadeer could damage bilateral relations". Azerbaijan Press Agency. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  23. ^ "Turkish PM compares violence in China to genocide". The Associated Press. Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  24. ^ "China demands Turkish retraction". BBC News. 14 July 2009.
  25. ^ "Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu Talks to His Chinese Counterpart on the Phone". Today's Zaman. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2009.
  26. ^ "China, Turkey ink 8 cooperation agreements". China Knowledge. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  27. ^ a b Yanatma, Servet; Erol, Osman (3 November 2010). "Turkey, China move for 'new cooperation paradigm'". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  28. ^ "China, Turkey voice commitment in fight against terrorism, separatism". Xinhua. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  29. ^ Kadeer, Rebiya (2009). Dragon Fighter One Woman's Epic Struggle for Peace with China. Kales Press. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-9798456-1-1.
  30. ^
  31. ^ Taştekin, Fehim (July 7, 2015). "China, Turkey: friends or foes?". Al-Monitor. Translator Timur Göksel.
  32. ^ Gurcan, Metin (January 19, 2015). "Oppressed by China, Uighurs drawn to Salafist ideas". Al-Monitor. Translator Timur Göksel.
  33. ^ Kohen, Sami (June 6, 2014). "Turkey's restraint dealing with Turkic groups abroad". Al-Monitor. Translator Timur Göksel.
  34. ^ Lefevre, Amy Sawitta; Dikmen, Yesim (9 Jul 2015). "Thai PM defends decision to send Uighurs back to China". Reuters.
  35. ^ AFP/ec (9 July 2015). "Outrage after Turkish politician excuses attack on 'slitty-eyed' tourists". Channel NewsAsia. ISTANBUL.
  36. ^ Agence France Presse (Jul 8, 2015). "Outrage after Turkish politician excuses attack on 'slitty-eyed' tourists". The Daily Star.
  37. ^ "Demonstrators throw eggs at Dutch consulate in protest against Russia". Today's Zaman. Istanbul. November 21, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  38. ^[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ Zenn, Jacob (10 October 2014). "An Overview of Chinese Fighters and Anti-Chinese Militant Groups in Syria and Iraq". China Brief. The Jamestown Foundation. 14 (19). Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  40. ^ "Seymour M. Hersh · Military to Military · LRB 7 January 2016". Retrieved 3 June 2016.

External linksEdit