Turkey–United Kingdom relations
Turkish–British relations are foreign relations between the Republic of Turkey and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The two nations have been at war several times, such as within the First World War. They have also been allied several times, however, such as in the Crimean War. Both countries currently maintain relations via the British Embassy in Ankara and the Turkish Embassy in London.
Turkey and the United Kingdom maintain good bilateral relations. The President of Turkey Cevdet Sunay paid a state visit to the United Kingdom in November 1967. The President of Turkey Kenan Evren paid a state visit to the United Kingdom in July 1988. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom paid state visits to Turkey in October 1971 and May 2008. Britain and Turkey are both members of the G20, and Britain has supported the accession of Turkey to the European Union.
World War 1 and Mandate of Palestine
The Ottoman Empire, of which Palestine was a part, broke up shortly after the First World War and was officially dissolved in 1923 by the Treaty of Lausanne. In the early years of the First World War, there were several important Ottoman victories against the British Empire, such as the Gallipoli Campaign and the Siege of Kut. Palestine was previously a part of the Ottoman Empire. Britain had declared its intention to support the creation of a Jewish homeland in the Balfour Declaration, 1917. The British had, in the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence, previously been in discussions with the Hashemite family concerning the concept of an independent Arab state. These discussions remained inconclusive and vague but contained the implied support from Britain of an independent Arab state in exchange for a successful Arab Revolt during World War I. The British, under General Allenby during the Arab Revolt under the guidance of British intelligence officers, the most famous being T. E. Lawrence, contributed to the defeat of the Ottoman forces in 1917 in which British and French forces occupied the Sinai and the majority of Greater Syria. The land was administered by the British for the remainder of the war.
The Ottoman Empire leased the island of Cyprus to the United Kingdom in 1878. The UK formally annexed Cyprus as a British colony in 1914 at the outset of the Great War. Britain maintained two sovereign military base areas on the island of Cyprus after the country's independence in 1960. In a response to a coup d'état orchestrated by the military junta of Greece to unite the island with mainland Greece, Turkey invaded the island in June 1974. As a result, more than a quarter of the population of Cyprus were expelled from the occupied northern part of the island, where Greek Cypriots constituted 80% of the population. A little over a year later in 1975, there was also a flow of roughly 60,000 Turkish Cypriots from the south to the north after the conflict. The Turkish invasion ended in the partition of Cyprus along the UN-monitored Green Line which still divides Cyprus. In 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) declared independence, although Turkey is the only country which recognises it. The UK is a signatory to the Treaty of Guarantee, together with Greece and Turkey concerning the independence and status of Cyprus.
The United Kingdom is the second biggest importer of goods from Turkey, after Germany. Turkey exports around 8% of its total goods to the United Kingdom. Annually, around 2.5 million Britons take holidays in Turkey, while 100,000 Turks travel to the UK for business or pleasure.
The United Kingdom has been the strongest supporter for the Accession of Turkey to the European Union. The EU and Turkey are linked by a Customs Union agreement, which came in force on 31 December 1995. Turkey has been a candidate country to join the European Union since 1999. In 2010, the BBC reported Prime Minister Cameron's 'anger' at slow pace of Turkish EU negotiations. Boris Johnson, mayor of London has historically been a passionate supporter of Turkey's EU aspirations. However, as a support of the UK's Brexit, he is arguing for Turkey - as the UK - to be outside the EU. As the fifth and eighteen largest global economies (by GDP) respectively, the UK and Turkey are also the second and seventh largest European economies.[when?]
- Foreign relations of the United Kingdom
- Foreign relations of Turkey
- List of diplomats of the United Kingdom to the Ottoman Empire (1583-1924)
- List of ambassadors of the United Kingdom to Turkey (1925- )
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