Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is going to visit Morocco, Algeria and Tunisi between June3 - 6.

Erdoğan’s North Africa visit
Posted 31.05.2013 13:03:32 UTC
Updated 31.05.2013 13:09:39 UTC

Erdoğan will meet the heads of state or of government of these countries and attend the first meeting of the Turkey-Tunisia High-level Strategic Cooperation Council. Business Forums will be held in all three countries.

Turkey-Morocco Relations

Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Morocco were set up with a joint declaration made separately by the two countries on April 17, 1956 shortly after Morocco gained independence. Economic ties have been steadily developing with Morocco and Turkey's investments there are worth $ 240 million.

The two countries' trade volume on the basis of the Morocco-Turkey Free Trade Agreement which came into force on January1, 2006 is just over $ 1 billion because of a drop caused by the global economic crisis in 2009.

The Turkey-Morocco trade volume in 2010 rose by 22% as against the year before, reaching $1,02 billion.

With the temporary employment of Turkish workers by the Turkish firms operating in Morocco for a variety of infra-structure projects, the number of Turkish nationals resident in Morocco is believed to be around 2000.

Morocco's ambassador to Turkey Lutfi Aouad has said that economic and cultural ties between Turkey and Morocco are strengthening and the trade volume has reached $ 1,5 billion.

Ambassador Aouad has said further that given the size of Algeria and Turkey and the wealth of opportunities they can offer, this figure is far from being satisfactory but he believes it will get bigger with the steadily developing relations.

He has also said there are about 600 Moroccon students in Turkish universities but his government will double that number soon. He has said that Moroccan youths have great interest in Turkey and Prime Minister Erdoğan's visit will adde momentum to bilateral ties, making favourable contributions.

Turkey-Algeria Relations

Turkey-Algeria relations take their strength from the brotherhood and friendship based on a common history.

Turkey recognized Algeria on July 31, 1962.

Algeria considers Turkey the closest state among the western countries. Besides the common history shared by the two, the pre-dominance of Islam as the religion of the majority of the people in Turkey, its NATO membership and candidacy for EU full membership are also important factors in why Algeria is so close to Turkey.

The Friendship and Cooperation agreement signed between the two countries during Prime Minister Erdoğan's official visit in 2006 is also the proof of the solid rapprochement in the two countries' bilateral ties.

Algeria is one of Turkey's most important trading partners in north Africa. Turkey exported goods worth $ 1,5 billion to Algeria in 2010 and got $ 2,3 billon worth of imports in the same period.

More than 200 Turkish firms operating in Algeria are engaged in the construction and infra-structure sectors. some 5000 Turkish nationals are believed to be residing in Algeria.

Turkey-Tunisia relations

The steady increase in the institutionalization and strentghening of the cooperation and dialogue mechanism betweern Turkey and Tunisia have been making important contributions to bilateral ties. The high level mutual visits are taking on a regular basis with contacts and consultations adding depth of the climate of friendship.

The Ottoman presence in Tunisia which lasted more than 300 years is one of the factors of the Tunisians' feelings of sympathy toward Turkey and its people.

Ottoman culture and civilization made an impact on Tunisian architecture. Tunisia today has a lot of citadels, mosques, garrisons , covered bazaars and tombs dating back to Ottoman times. Tunisians have great interest in our day in the Turkish language, art music and drama series on TV. Traditional Turkish music, Turkish clothes, calligraphy and the performances of the Ottoman janissary band are among the aspects of Turkey's culture we find a lot of Tunisians enjoying taking part in and following the developments of.

Cultural ties between the two countries are being conducted on the basis of the Culture Agreement signed on February 25, 1964.

Turkey and Tunisia also signed Friendship and Cooperation agreement on the occasion of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's official visit in September 2011.