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Turkey looks to build closer ties with Korea as it celebrates its centenary

Oct. 31, 2023 - 14:41 By Sanjay Kumar

Turkish Ambassador to Korea Murat Tamer welcomes guests at an event marking the Republic of Turkey's 100th anniversary at The Shilla Seoul in Jung-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. (Embassy of Turkey in Seoul)

Commemorating the Republic of Turkey's 100th anniversary Monday, Turkey's ambassador said the nation is looking to foster closer ties with South Korea.

"Our horizons and dreams are very big, but what Turkey and Korea have done and can do together encourages us and motivates us to work harder," said Turkish Ambassador to Korea Murat Tamer at a reception held in Seoul, citing South Korea as one of the world's most modern, democratic and liberal nations, with one of the top 10 largest economies globally.

"We are just ahead of very important investment moves that will bring Turkey and Korea closer to each other," he stressed.

The Republic of Turkey was officially declared in 1923, with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk serving as its first president. Ataturk, a former general turned politician, played a pivotal role in shaping Turkey.

Artists perform at an event marking 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey at Shilla Seoul in Jung-gu, Seoul on Tuesday. (Embassy of Turkey in Seoul)

Turkey and Korea established diplomatic ties in 1957 and upgraded their relationship to a strategic partnership in 2012. Turkey dispatched around 20,000 soldiers to the peninsula during the 1950–53 Korean War.

The friendly and brotherly relations between Turkey and Korea have continuously strengthened over the past 70 years, with trade volume between the two nations reaching $10 billion in 2022, according to the ambassador.

Tamer highlighted the growing Turkish-Korean commercial, military and tourism industries, citing Turkish Airlines' 11 weekly flights between Seoul and Istanbul. The ambassador noted that this number increases to 22 when taking into account the flights run by Korean companies between Seoul and Istanbul.

The event was attended by members of the diplomatic corps and defense attaches, private companies, think tanks, social and welfare organizations, members of the Turkish diaspora in Korea, Korean media, and a Turkish media delegation led by Mehmet Zahid Sobaci, general director of Turkish Radio and Television.