Russia on Wednesday congratulated Turkey on the two countries’ centennial of diplomatic ties.
In an online statement, the Foreign Ministry stressed that though the history of Russian-Turkish relations spanned even further over five centuries, the past 100 related to bilateral relations following the dissolution of Russian and Ottoman empires.
Russia was the first country in the world to recognize the Republic of Turkey, during the Turkish War of Independence.
“On June 3, 1920, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR [Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic] Georgy Chicherin sent a telegram to Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk), the chairman of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey with a proposal to ‘immediately establish diplomatic and consular missions.’ This day is considered the official start point in diplomatic relations between Soviet Russia and the government of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey,” it said.
Russian-Turkish relations, based on a “solid foundation of good neighborliness, mutually beneficial cooperation and respect for each other’s interests,” have weathered many tests over the past century, it added.
“Today, they [bilateral relations] are experiencing a rise, steadily moving to the level of strategic partnership in a number of areas and serve as an important factor in strengthening regional stability and security.”
100 years of relations
On April 26, 1920, Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) Pasha, the founder of the Turkish Republic, sent a letter to Vladimir Lenin, head of the Russian Bolsheviks, to develop relations. This event is seen as the Republic of Turkey’s official recognition of Russia.
Responding to the letter, Chicherin took up Mustafa Kemal’s offer in what is considered the beginning of Turkish-Russian diplomatic ties.
On May 11, the Turkish Grand National Assembly sent a delegation headed by Foreign Minister Bekir Sami Bey to Moscow which heralded the signing of a Treaty of Brotherhood, also known as the Treaty of Moscow, on March 16 the following year.
Ali Fuat Cebesoy became the first Turkish ambassador to Moscow on Nov. 21, 1920. The first Russian permanent diplomat took office in Ankara on Dec. 15, 1920.
Turkey-Russia ties continued after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, with economic cooperation playing an important role until the 2000s and political relations becoming more pronounced in recent years, along with close dialogue between the two countries’ leaders.
Ankara’s policy towards Moscow is based on further strengthening mutual trust, developing cooperation and maintaining transparent and sincere dialogue.
Today, relations between the two countries is one of the major axes of Turkey’s multi-dimensional foreign policy.
Though Turkey and Russia have different views on regional and international issues, relations have continued due to dialogue between their presidents.
While economic and commercial relations continue to be the driving force of relations, developments in energy, defense industry and tourism have recently surged.
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