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Turkey - Relations

31.07.2017



Turkey recognised the Republic of Estonia on 23 January 1924. Prior to the Second World War the Turkish ambassador was H.E. Nuri Batu, who presented his credentials on 19 September 1935. At the time there were only nine residing ambassadors in Tallinn, and Turkey had only 20 embassies around the world.

After the restoration of Estonia's independence, diplomatic relations between the two countries were restored on 23 October 1991. Turkey never recognised the Soviet occupation of Estonia. Turkey accredited its first ambassador to Estonia, residing in Vilnius, in 1992. On 1 October 2001 Turkey opened its embassy in Tallinn. During the period 2001-2005, Turkey's Ambassador to Estonia was H.E. Mr. Ömer Altuğ – the first Turkish ambassador to reside in Estonia. The current Turkish Ambassador to Estonia is H.E. Ms. Hayriye Kumaşcıoğlu.

In June 1996 Sven Jürgenson became Estonia's first ambassador to Turkey after the restoration of independence; he resided in Tallinn. In February 2001, the Estonian Embassy in Ankara was opened. During the period 2004-2008, Estonia's first Ambassador to Turkey residing in Ankara was H.E. Mr. Märt Volmer. He was followed by H.E. Mr. Aino Orav in 2008-2012 and H.E. Mr. Miko Haljas in 2012-2016. The current Estonian Ambassador to Turkey is H.E. Ms. Marin Mõttus.

Estonia has five Honorary Consuls in Turkey. The first office was opened on 2 August 2001 in Istanbul. The Honorary Consul of Estonia in Istanbul is Mr. Tuncay Özilhan whose consular areas are the regions of Istanbul and Marmara. On 4 October 2002 the office of the Honorary Consul of Estonia was opened in the resort city of Anatalya, where the Honorary Consul is Mr. İ. Ethem Okudur. On 8 June 2010 Minister of Culture Laine Jänes opened the Office of the Honorary Consul in the city of Bursa, where the Honorary Consul is Mr. Barış Kaya. In 2013,  two additional Offices of the Honorary Consul started work in the Turkish cities of Trabzon and Mersin. The Office of the Honorary Consul in Trabzon, where the Honorary Consul is Mr. Zeyyat Kafkas, had its opening ceremony on 4 July 2013. On 16 June 2014 the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Väino Reinart opened the Office of the Honorary Consul in the city of Mersin, where the Honorary Consul is Mr. Nebil Taşçı.

On 10 June 2003 the first Estonian–Turkish Parliamentary Group was formed by the Estonian Parliament Riigikogu. The Group consisted of 20 members.  Nowadays, during the 13th Riigikogu, the Estonian – Turkish Parliamentary Group has 9 members, with Mr. Ivari Padar from the Estonian Social Democratic Party being the Chairman of the Group.

On 16 December 2011 the first Turkish-Estonian Interparliamentary Friendship Group was formed by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. On 06 March 2016 a new Turkish-Estonian Interparliamentary Friendship Group was formed by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The group has 20 members, with Mr. Kasim Bostan from the AK Party being the President of the Group.

Visits

To Turkey
July 2017
Foreign Minister Sven Mikser to visit Ankara during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
August 2016
Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand to visit Ankara as Chairman of the Council of Europe.
July 2015
Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus to attend the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Antalya.
May 2012
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet to attend the Nordic Walking event over the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul.
May 2011 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet to attend the 121st Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Istanbul
February 2011 Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo
June 2010 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Minister of Culture Laine Jänes in Istanbul for the world premier of Pärt’s new work “Adam’s Lament”
April 2010 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
December 2009 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
April 2009 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at the UN Alliance of Civilisations meeting in Istanbul
March 2009 Vice-Speaker of the Riigikogu Kristiina Ojuland
November 2008 Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder
March 2008 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
July 2006 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline
April 2006 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
September 2005 President Arnold Rüütel
April 2004 Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland
August 2003 Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland
October 2001 Foreign Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves
To Estonia
October 2016
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
October 2014
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
May 2012
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu
November 2011 Minister of European Affairs Egemen Bağiş
February 2011 Minister of Agriculture Mehmet Mehdi Eker
February 2010 Minister of European Affairs Egemen Bağiş
October 2008 President Abdullah Gül
July 2008 Foreign Minister Ali Babacan
December 2006 Head negotiator of Turkey’s EU negotiations and Minister of Economy Ali Babacan
September 2004 Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gül
August 2002 Defence Minister Sabahattin Çakmakoğlu
April 2002 President Ahmet Nezdet Sezer
June 2000 Foreign Minister Ismail Cem

Agreements

In 1924 an Estonian-Turkish Treaty of Friendship was signed, which came into effect in 1927. Six more agreements and adjustments agreements were signed from 1929-1938 between Turkey and Estonia (for example, a trade and shipping agreement). To date, the two countries have entered into enough agreements to allow for the establishment of successful bilateral co-operation between Estonia and Turkey. The following lists the 15 agreements and programmes that are in effect between Estonia and Turkey:

  1. Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation (came into force 26.04.1995);
  2. Agreement on Trade and Economic Co-operation (came into force 15.02.1996);
  3. International Road Transport Agreement (came into force 15.02.1996);
  4. Agreement on Co-operation in the Field of Tourism (came into force 15.02.1996);
  5. Agreement Concerning the Mutual Abolition of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic Passports (came into force 14.02.1997, changed on 26.09.2008);
  6. Agreement regarding Mutual Assistance between Customs Administrations (came into force 06.12.1998);
  7. Agreement Concerning the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments (came into force 29.04.1999);
  8. Agreement on Co-operation in Culture, Education, Science and Sports (came into force 22.09.1999);
  9. Agreement on Co-operation in the Fight Against International Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, International Terrorism and Organised Crime (came into force 27.09.2000);
  10. Agreement on Defence (came into force 31.10.2002);
  11. Agreement for the Protection of Classified Information (came into force 27.01.2003);
  12. Agreement on Air Transport (came into force 27.09.2004);
  13. Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (came into force 21.02.2005)
  14. Co-operation programme in the field of culture, education, research, youth and sports (came into force 28.11.2005)
  15. Agreement for the waiving of visa requirements for holders of Estonian passports (came into force 12.07.2008)

Mutual co-operation

The relations between Estonia and Turkey have always been good and are currently developing stably. Continuous progress in political, defence, economic and cultural co-operation is essential to Estonia. Mutual understanding between Estonia and Turkey is enhanced by their geostrategic similarity, similar positions on most international issues and constructive co-operation in international organisations.

Good and close relations with Turkey continued in 2010 and 2011 as many important visits took place.

On 24-27 May 2010, members of the Estonian Parliament Riigikogu Constitutional Committee visited Ankara. This was the first visit of its kind to Turkey. The group hold meetings with the Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the Turkish National Assemly B. Kuzu, the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee Üskül, and the Chairwoman of the Equal Right Committee Akşiti.

During this period, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves even visited Turkey on two occasions. During the official visit that took place on 15-18 April 2011, President Ilves hold meetings with President Gül, Prime Minister Erdoğan, and Speaker of the Grand National Assembly Şahin. President Ilves also gave a lecture at the Bilkent University in Ankara entitled “Turkey and Estonia – Yesterday, today and tomorrow”. He also attended the world premiere of the musical work "Adam's Lament" by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. There were many important events held before and after the concert: a bilateral meeting of the Estonian and Turkish Presidents, a meeting of the Ministers of Culture, and a meeting of the Mayors of Tallinn and Istanbul.

Regular consultations have taken place between the foreign ministries of the two countries over the years. On 17 March 2010 consultations on security policy between the Foreign Ministries of Estonia and Turkey took place in Tallinn. Turkey-Estonia consular consultations took place on 29 January 2010 again in Tallinn. On 8 February 2010, trilateral political consultations between Estonia, Finland and Turkey took place in Ankara. The Director of the Department for EU Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, A. Başağa, visited Tallinn on 31 May 2011, after which the next political consultations were held in Ankara on 14 October 2011. In September 2013, the Deputy Undersecretaries for EU Affairs held political consultations in Ankara. In the spring of 2014, both consular and security consultations took place again in Ankara. In the autumn 2014, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense of Estonia Mr. Mikk Marran paid an official visit to Turkey and held a meeting with the Undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioğlu. In June 2016, the Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Mrs. Kyllike Sillaste-Elling met her counterpart for political consultations.

In February 2017, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian parliament Riigikogu paid an official visit to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and visited one of the refugee camps in Gaziantep. In May 2017, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Mr. Rainer Saks and the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mr. Ümit Yalçın held consultations in Tallinn. Also in May 2017, the Deputy Primeminister of Turkey H.E. Mr. Mehmet Şimşek spoke at the Lennart Meri Conference is Tallinn. Again in May 2017, a prestigious Turkish business delegation visited Estonia, representing foremost the electronics and IT sector of Turkey. The delegation held business2business meetings with their Estonian counterparts and took part of the startup and tech event Latitude 59.

As Estonia holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2017, many mutual visits between Estonia and Turkey are expected to take place, as supporting the dialog between Turkey and the European Union is one of the main topics of the Estonian presidency.


Economic relations

Trade

Economic relations between Estonia and Turkey are good with generally stable development. Particularly rapid developments occurred in trade with Turkey after Estonia’s accession to the European Union. From 2004 to 2008, export from Estonia to Turkey grew fivefold. In 2009, the global economic crisis had a negative effect also on trade between Estonia and Turkey, and the economical figures in both import and export dropped vastly. Nevertheless, in 2010, export to Turkey grew 1.7 times and import by 35%, and by 2016, Turkey was Estonia’s 20th trade partner.

In 2016 the turnover in trade between Estonia and Turkey was 163 million Euros, with exports worth of 108 million Euros and imports 55 million Euros.

In 2016 Turkey was the 17th export partner for Estonia, passing EU member states Italy and Spain. Import figures have steadily grown from 43 million Euros (2012) to almost 55 million Euros (2016).

The main export articles from Estonia to Turkey during the last three years have been metals and metal products (53% of the whole export), followed by precious metals and jewerly products (15%), and machinery and mechanical equipment (13%).

The main import articles from Turkey to Estonia are textiles and textile products (34% of the whole import), machinery and mechanical equipment (17%) and transport vehicles (17%).


Investments

Turkish investments in Estonia as well as Estonian investments in Turkey have so far been small. According to the Bank of Estonia, as of 31 December 2016, Turkey had made 5 million EUR worth of direct investments mainly in the Estonian whole sale and retail trade, and the areas of logistics, storage, informatics and communications.


According to the Bank of Estonia, as of 31 December 2016, Estonia had made 2.4 million EUR worth of direct investments in the Turkish whole sale and retail trade, and the areas of informatics, communications and real estate.


Tourism

During the period preceding Estonia’s accession to the European Union the number of Turkish tourists visiting Estonia grew from year to year but remained relatively small. Interest towards Estonia has grown after the country became an EU member state. As for the number of tourists staying overnight, Turkey is still among European countries with a smaller share: in 2007, 980 tourists from Turkey spent the night in one of the accommodation establishments in Estonia, in 2008 the number was 2861, in 2009 it was 2745, and in 2010, 3560 tourists stayed overnight in Estonia. In 2011, Turkish tourists’ interest in Estonia grew and during the year a total of 4 720 people used Estonian accommodation establishments. In 2013, the number reached already 5800.  Most Turkish tourists visited Tallinn, as well as Tartu and Saaremaa. 

For Estonians, Turkey is significantly more popular as a travel destination, due to Turkey’s geographic location and warm climate. In 2003, about 5500 Estonian tourists visited Turkey whereas in 2009 the number of tourists had already grown to 27384, most of them through different travel agencies. Many Estonians also travel to Turkey independently or through foreign travel agencies.

Since 2010, the Estonian statistics agency "Statistics Estonia" has not published information regarding the number of Estonian tourists traveling abroad through different travel agencies. However, according to the data collected by mobile positioning, in 2011, the number of Estonian residents visiting Turkey for more than a few days was 77500, in 2012 it was 50100 (-35%), in 2013 it was 62400 and in 2014 the number was 69800.

Nowadays, more than 75000 Estonian tourists visit Turkey yearly, as on 11 June 2013 Turkish Airlines started flying directly from Istanbul to Tallinn. Currently, there are 5-7 direct flights per week.


Culture and education

A Culture, Education, Science and Sports Agreement was signed in 1994 and came into force in September 1999. The agreement is the foundation for co-operation between the two countries in these fields.

The writers/translators Ly Seppel, Andres Ehin, and Ain Kaalep have fostered the publishing of Turkish literature in Estonia. The publication of Turkey's most famous contemporary prose writer Yaşar Kemal's "To Kill the Snake" and the collection of 20th century Turkish poetry "The Night of the Stag" received a contribution from the Turkish Embassy. In 1999, the periodical "Akadeemia" dedicated a special issue to Turkey.

Turkish has been taught at the University of Tartu since 1993. In 1998, on the initiative of the Turkish Ambassador Erkan Gezer, a Turkish-language section was opened at the University of Tartu. It was financed by the embassy, who also looked for a lecturer. The University of Tartu has been in contact with Bilkent University and is interested in concluding an agreement between the universities that would emphasize the exchange of students, scientists and lecturers. In 2000, President Lennart Meri recognized the work of the rector of Bilkent University, Professor Ihsan Doğramacı, awarding him the Cross of Terra Mariana.

Turkish has been offered at the Tallinn University since 1993. In 1997, Turkish President Süleyman Demirel inaugurated the Tallinn University's Turkish-language section, whose costs were covered by the Turkish Embassy. The same year the university’s Oriental Centre was opened, where Turkish and related languages are taught. Visitors to the centre can also familiarise themselves with Turkish culture and history. The year 2000 saw the start of an Oriental bachelor programme with Turkish as the main subject. The Turkish Culture Society is also based at Tallinn University, founded in 1995 by Ly Seppel, Andres Ehin et al.

From 24 April to 17 May 2006, Turkish cultural days took place in Tallinn on the initiative of the Turkish Embassy and Turkey-Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania Friendship Association. In the framework thereof, a gala dinner along with Ayla Eryüksel’s fashion show “3H. The Journey of Women’s Fashion from the Hittites to Present" was arranged, in addition an exhibition was unveiled in the National Library: "Living together: Memories of co-existence in the Ottoman and Turkish period". At the Estonia Concert Hall the sisters Ferhan ja Ferzan Önder performed a piano duo "1001 nights", and at the Estonia National Opera a concert of Sufi music and whirling dervishes took place. Also Anikya Iznik’s art of tiles and Hikmet Barutucugil's  ebru art (figurative marbled images on paper) were presented.

On 3 March 2008, Turkish Ambassador to Estonia Fatma Sule Sovsal and Foreign Minister Urmas Paet opened the exhibit “They Believed in Turkey” ("Nad uskusid Türgisse") in the National Library.

On 14 March 2008 Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip opened a comprehensive exhibit on Estonian design entitled “Design Comes to Visit” (“Disain tuleb külla”) in the Istanbul cultural and trade centre IstinyePark.

On 16 March 2008, the first ski marathon to be held in the Anatolian mountains in Gerede, Turkey took place; Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was among the participants. At the same event a year later, Deputy Speaker of Riigikogu Kristiina Ojuland was one of the participants.

On 28 April 2008, Turkish Ambassador Fatma Sule Sovsal opened a photo exhibit by the former Turkish diplomat Erkut Onart in the National Library entitled “Turkey – The land where nature, man and culture meet” ("Türgi - maa, kus kohtuvad loodus, inimene ja kultuur"). The author of the photos was also present at the opening.

On 11 June 2008 Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Ambassador Fatma Sule Sovsal opened the photo exhibit by Turkish diplomat Nur Sagman entitled “Happy Anniversary Year, Estonia!” ("Head juubeliaastat, Eesti!") in the National Library.

On 3 July 2008, during the International Paide Limestone Days, the world-famous Turkish military ensemble Mehter kicked off their Estonian tour in the centre square of Paide. They gave three concerts in Estonia.

On 22 September 2008 the exhibit “Turkish popular architecture in the Black Sea region” ("Türgi rahvalik arhitektuur musta mere piirkonnas"), which was compiled by the Milli Reasüran art gallery in Istanbul, was opened in the salt storeroom basement hall of Rotermanni.

On 9 October 2008 Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Turkish President Abdullah Gül opened an exhibit showing the relations between Estonia and Turkey in the National Library. The extensive history and document exhibit filled with photos and archival material was a comparative look back at the development of the independence of the two nations and the creation of joint diplomatic relations in 1924, when a friendship and co-operation agreement between Turkey and Estonia was signed. The exposition included political, economic and cultural relations, as well as Estonians in Turkeys and Turks in Estonia.

In October 2008 the exhibit “Turkey’s colours and threads. Gönül Paksoy’s timeless clothing design” ("Türgi värvid ja lõimed. Gönül Paksoy ajatu rõivadisain") was opened at the Mikkeli Museum in Kadriorg. In November 2008 a selection of Estonia puppet films was shows at the Kars Film Festival, and Rao Heidmets’s new film “Inherent Obligations” participated in the competition programme.

In the second week of February 2009 the 11th Winter Dance Festival took place in Viljandi, and the theme was the return to one’s roots. A Turkish dance troupe participated.

In February of 2009 a soloist from the Ankara National Opera Theatre, Senol Talinli, sang one of the lead roles in Verdi’s opera “Masked Ball”, and in April at the European premiere of composer Arvo Pärt’s fourth symphony the Helsinki City Orchestra was conducted by Turkish conductor Cem Mansur.

On 8 March 2009 the second ski marathon took place in Turkey thanks to the initiative of the Estonian Embassy with the honorary consuls; the guest of honour was Deputy Speaker of the Riigikogu Kristiina Ojuland.

On 5 September 2009 a Turkey-Estonia football match was played in Kayseri.

On 4 October 2009 Estonian Ambassador to Turkey Aivo Orav, Tartu University rector Alar Karis, and governor of Ağrı County Mehmet Çetin opened an exhibit in Ishak Pasha Palace at the foot of Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı or Agri Mountain) in the region of Ağri in Eastern Turkey to celebrate 180 years since the conquering of Mount Ararat in 1829. In the days after the opening of the exhibit an international climb took place. The group reached the summit on 9 October, the same day that Johann Jakob Friedrich Wilhelm Parrot had done so 180 years earlier.

On 7 February 2010 the Estonian Embassy in co-operation with the Anatolia Marathon Association and Bolu Province organised a spirited cross-country skiing festival, where Foreign Ministry Secretary General Marten Kokk also participated.

In 2010 Istanbul was one of the European Capitals of Culture. The Ministry of Culture and the Tallinn 2011 Foundation organised many events to introduce Estonia and Tallinn. In April 2010 Estonian films were part of the international film festival in Istanbul. In May an international student theatre festival took place with the participation of some Estonian troupes.

On 16 January 2010 an Estonian delegation led by chairman of the Riigikogu cultural commission Peeter Kreitzberg attended the opening of Istanbul Capital of Culture 2010.

During the summer of 2010, the cultural bridge between Estonia and Turkey became even stronger. A musical composition for orchestra, choir and soloists was ordered from Arvo Pärt (who was celebrating his 75th birthday). The concert took place as part of the joint cultural programme of Tallinn 2011 and Istanbul 2010. On 7 June 2010 the world premier of Arvo Pärt’s new work “Adam’s Lament” took place in Hagia Irene Church in Istanbul; the work incorporated characteristic themes from both Christian and Islam culture and music. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Borusan Symphony Orchestra, and the ensemble Vox Clamantis performed, led by conductor Tõnu Kaljuste. In addition to President and Mrs. Ilves, other guests from Estonia that attended the concert were Minister of Culture Laine Jänes, Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar, delegations from the Foreign Ministry and Tallinn City Council, entrepreneurs, and media representatives. Important Turkish guests present were President Gül and his wife, the minister of culture, the mayor of Istanbul, and the Patriarch of Constantinople. Altogether more than 1 000 people attended the concert. Prior to the concert, the president of Turkey (with the president of Estonia by his side) presented Arvo Pärt with an award for lifetime achievement.

On 16 July 2010 the Ellerhein Girls’ Choir directed by Tiia-Ester Loitme gave a concert in the Hagia Irene Church.

From 3-19 December 2010 Veiko Õunpuu’s film “The Temptation of St. Tony” (“Püha Tõnu kiusamine”) was screened as part of the competition programme of the Gezic film festival.

On 19 February 2011 the Estonian Embassy in Turkey organised a Nordic walking event near Ankara by Gölbaş Lake in honour of Estonian Independence Day. Nordic walking was introduced by the creator of the sport Marko Kantaneva and the Estonian company ME Sisustus, which produces the Nordic walking supplies bearing Kantaneva’s eponymous trademark. Among others, the athletic walking event was attended by Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bağış.

From 17-20 July 2011 the Ankara National Opera gave guest performances at the Saaremaa Opera Days.

On 06 May 2012, an event called “Nordic Walking between Continents” was organized in cooperation with the Ministry for EU Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Governorship of Istanbul where thousands of people crossed the Bosphorus Bridge doing Nordic walking. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Mr. Urmas Paet took part in the Nordic Walking event.

On 20 June 2012, the National Opera Estonia gave a performance at the Turkish Opera Festival “Aspendos” in Antalya.

In December 2012, the Estonian animation film “Lotte and the Moonstone Secret” was screened for the first time ever in Turkey at the European Union Human Rights Film Days. “Lotte” was screened 2 days in a row in total of 11 movietheatres in 10 cities all over Turkey and turned out to be the most popular movie of the festival. Also a workshop and a reception were organized in Istanbul where the audience could meet the authors of the movie Mr. Heiki Ernist and Mr. Janno Põldma.

In 2013, one of the biggest achievements in public diplomacy between Estonia and Turkey was the Turkish journalists’ trip to Estonia by the very first Turkish Airlines direct flight from Istanbul to Tallinn on 11-15 June 2013. During the press visit, the Prime Minister of Estonia Mr. Andrus Ansip gave an interview to the Turkish biggest daily newspaper (in English) at that time – Today’s Zaman – which was published on the front page of the newspaper on 14 June 2013. Estonia as an interesting tourist destination and “Queen of the Baltics” was also thoroughly promoted in the Turkish Airlines onboard magazine “Skylife” in August.

In May 2013, series of events to celebrate Europe Day took place in Istanbul. The Embassy of Estonia was present with an Estonian stand and organized a quiz to win a trip to Estonia.The Estonian folk-rock group Tenfold Rabbit took the mainstage of the festival in addition to their very successful concert in the downtown club Nublu in Istanbul.

In July 2013, a group of Turkish traditional dervish dancers called “Nevbahar” performed at the Viljandi Folk Music Festival in Estonia.

In 2014, several events took place to introduce Estonian culture to Turkey. In February, the Estonian mixed chorus “Vanalinna segakoor” gave a concert in Istanbul and Kas to celebrate the 96th Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. In May, the Estonia punk-rock band Nikn Suns took stage on a rainy day at the Europe Day celebrations in Istanbul. In June, the Estonian brass group “Brassical” performed at the opening reception of the Honorary Consulate of Estonia in Mersin. And in December, the Estonian animation film “Lisa Limone” was screened at the European Human Rights Film Festival, where the audience could meet the author of the movie Mr. Mait Laas.

In addition, in February 2014, the Embassy of Estonia organized the very first Estonian-Turkish tourism seminar in Istanbul in order to create close business contacts and enable business2business meetings for Estonian and Turkish tourism companies. The seminar was organized in cooperation with the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), Estonian Travel and Tourism Association, Enterprise Estonia and Turkish Airlines. In October, during the official visit to Estonia of President Erdogan, Turkish tourism companies paid a return visit in order to visit the medieval town of Tallinn, go on a sightseeing tour around Estonia and establish strong cooperation with Estonian tourism companies.

The same year, another business seminar took place in Mersin for the Young Businessmen Association of Turkey in Cukurova (TÜGIAD). During the seminar, the Deputy Director of the Export Division of Enterprise Estonia Mr. Indrek Pällo gave an overview of the current situation in the Estonian-Turkish commercial affairs, while the Desk Officer of the Embassy of Estonia in Ankara Ms. Julika Luts introduced Estonia as a destination for tourism and studies.

In March 2015, the Estonian Puppet Theater NUKU visited Turkey and performed before Turkish audience at the Sabanci Culture Center in Izmir with the play "Ghost of Canterville".

On 24 April 2015 a seminar was held in Istanbul for the Honorary Consuls of Estonia in Turkey. The seminar was organized by the Embassy of Estonia in Ankara together with the Honorary Consul of Estonia in Istanbul Mr. Tuncay Özilhan. The Estonian media expert Mr. Daniel Vaarik gave an overview of the Estonian brand, while presentations were also made by  the Director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Mrs. Kersti Eesmaa, the Desk Officer of the Embassy of Estonia in Ankara Ms. Julika Luts and the Consul of the Embassy Mrs. Kersti Kasak. After the seminar, the Estonian orchestra Glasperlenspiel lead by Maestro Andres Mustonen performed before a full house at the St. Antoine Church in Istanbul.

Also in April 2015, the Estonian-Georgian film "Tangerines" was screened across Turkey. The first screening took place in the Büyülü Fener movie theater in Ankara where both the Ambassador of Estonia to Turkey H.E. Mr. Miko Haljas and the Ambassador of Georgia to Turkey H.E. Mr. Irakli Koplatadze gave a speech before the movie started.

On 9-10 May 2015 Europe Day was once more celebrated in Turkey. This time the Estonian music band Traffic gave two concerts in Istanbul and Ankara.

In September 2015, the Estonian pianist Tanel Joamets visited Turkey and in cooperation with the Turkish pianist and music professor Hande Dalkılıç gave a seminar in the Hacetepe University Conservatoire and also performed before Turkish audience in Ankara and Izmir.

On 16-17 December 2015 the Estonian film "Those Who Dare" was screened in Istanbul and Ankara during the European Human Rights Film Festival. The author of the film Mr. Kiur Aarma visited Turkey on the occasion and met the audience in both cities.

In December 2015 the Estonian Jazz Quartet lead by Maestro Andres Mustonen performed before Turkish audience in the cities of Istanbul and Ankara.

The year 2016 was slightly calmer in terms of Estonian cultural events in Turkey, nevertheless, the Estonian orchestra Hortus Musicus lead by Maestro Andres Mustonen gave a concert in Istanbul. In October 2016, the European Union Delegation in Turkey organized an awareness event Climate Action Fair where the Estonian film "Out of Fashion" was screened for the first time in Turkey. The same film was screened once more before Turkish audience in December 2016 during the European Human Rights Film Festival. The author of the film and the famous Estonian designer Mrs. Reet Aus visited Turkey on the occasion and met the audience both in Ankara and Istanbul. In December 2016, the Estonian orchestra Hortus Musicus lead by Maestro Andres Mustonen gave a  concert "Bach in Love" at the Istanbul Naval Museum.

There is currently an ongoing cooperation between the Estonian and Turkish interprets which contributes deeply to the cultural exchange between the two nations. The well-known Turkish pianist and music professor Hande Dalkılıç has given joint concerts with the Estonian musicians Tanel Joamets and Andreas Lend on many occasions. “Hortus Musicus” together with other instrumental ensembles lead by maestro Andres Mustonen have performed before Turkish audience many times and managed to build their very own fan base in Turkey.  There is also a cooperation coming up between the Estonian conductor Anu Tali and the Bilkent Orchestra which we may hopefully all enjoy in 2018.


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