Nepal and Turkey established diplomatic relations on November 15, 1962. Nepalese Ambassador to Pakistan is concurrently accredited to Turkey, while the Turkish Ambassador in New Delhi is accredited to Nepal. Nepal has appointed Ms. Fatma Gunseli Malkoc as the Honorary Consul of Nepal in Istanbul.
Turkey hosted the first UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in 2007 and the fourth UN LDCs Conference later in 2011 when Nepal was chairing the LDCs group of countries.
Turkey-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group was established in the Turkish Parliament on 6 March 2016.
Political Consultation Mechanism
An agreement has been signed between Nepal and Turkey on the establishment of Political consultation mechanism between the two foreign ministries which provides that the developments in political, economic, consular, cultural, technological and scientific aspects of bilateral relations will be reviewed and views on the steps towards further enhancing relations will be exchanged.
Nepal supported Turkey in its bid to the Board of Directors of the AIIB and at the negotiations on its Articles of Agreement, which took place on 27-28 April 2015 in Beijing.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, Turkey dispatched at least five teams including a 26-strong team from the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management, known by the Turkish acronym AFAD, which heroically saved many lives during the search and rescue operations.
The Turkish Red Crescent sent blankets, tents and six tons of food, flown in by Turkish Airlines and, the National Medical Rescue Organization, known by its Turkish acronym UMKE, has sent 10 highly trained staff. The Humanitarian Relief Foundation, the GEA volunteer search and rescue team, Doctors Worldwide and the AKUT Search and Rescue Association have also sent teams. At least 74 experts from Turkish organizations were in Nepal.
Exchange of Visits
The visit of Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kamal Thapa in connection with his participation in the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul from 23-24 May 2016 is the latest in the series of a few exchanges of visits between the two sides in the recent times.
The then prime Minister Rt. Hon Mr Jhalanath Khanal paid official visit to Turkey to participate 4th LDC conference held in Istanbul from 9 to 13 May 2011.
H.E. Mr Ahmet Davutoglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey, visited Nepal on 17th February 2011. During his visit, he paid courtesy call on Rt. Hon. Prime minister Mr. Jhalanath Khanal and other senior members of Government of Nepal
Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who visited Nepal in the capacity of foreign minister in February, 2011, has been maintaining that voice of LDCs like Nepal has to be included in G20 decision making process. “Nepal is the center of spirituality, how can we exclude them? They have to be part of the process,” he had said during G-20 Summit in Australia in November, 2014, calling for a more inclusive Group of Twenty (G20).
Sahana Pradhan, the then Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Turkey in July 2007 to participate in the Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries on “Making Globalization Work for the LDCs”, organized by the Government of Turkey in collaboration with the United Nations System.
Economic and Commercial Relations
Beginning from the fiscal year 2003/04, Turkish businessmen have been importing Nepalese carpets considerably in a large quantity, which has contributed to the trade surplus in favor of Nepal. Besides carpets, Turkey could be a good market for the Nepalese Pashmina and shawl, handicraft items, among other products.
In view of the growing trend of export of Nepalese carpets to Turkey, exchange of visits of business delegations along with officials of Chamber of Commerce of both the countries could be highly beneficial for Nepal. Nepal-Turkey Chamber of Commerce has been partnering with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICOC) for enhancing trade relationship between the two countries.
Trade figure shows the following trend for the last few years (value in ‘000 Rs.):
[Source: Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC)]
Nepal and Turkey also signed the Air Service Agreement in September 2010, opening a new avenue connecting Europe and Nepal. Turkish Airlines has been operating direct flights between Kathmandu and Istanbul from September 02, 2013 linking directly Europe with Kathmandu, and cutting short the time to travel to Europe. This has helped promote tourism in Nepal from Turkey and other European countries.
Although the number of Turkish tourists visiting Nepal is limited to a few thousands, tourism entrepreneurs say there is strong possibility of increasing this number through promotional activities and wider coverage of air services between Nepal and Europe. Nepal could be an ideal destination for Turkish tourists for trekking, mountaineering and other entertainment activities.
Turkey has introduced a provision to grant Nepali nationals holding Schengen visa a 30-day on arrival visa to travel to Turkey which would further help enhance people-to-people and business contacts between the two countries.
Scholarship and Cultural Cooperation
The Government of Turkey has been providing scholarships for higher education to Government of Nepal.
Turkey is keen on expanding its cultural diplomacy initiatives by way of increasing cultural exchanges, and promoting Turkish language, art and culture in more and more countries.
Adalar Islands (the Prince Islands) and Pokhara city have sister-city relations. Efforts are underway to establish sister-city relations between Kathmandu and Istanbul.