Büyükelçinin Mesajı

Distinguished Citizens,

Esteemed Members of the Turkish-Dutch Community,

I assumed my post as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Türkiye to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, on February 1st, 2023 and presented my Credentials to His Majesty King Willem-Alexander on February 15th, 2023.

Türkiye and the Netherlands have deep-rooted historical ties. The establishment of formal diplomatic relations dates back more than 400 years, to be precise to 1612, when the first Dutch Ambassador, Cornelis Haga, was appointed to the Imperial Court of Sultan Ahmet I in Istanbul. However, our ties go even further back to the 16th century where there were frequent exchanges and mutual influence between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

It was more than 200years after the arrival of the first Dutch Ambassador to Istanbul that the Ottoman Empire sent its first Ambassador, Yahya Karaca Pasha, to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1859. The Turkish Embassy in The Hague has been located in its present premises since 1937.

Based on such a friendly and rich history, the Turkish-Dutch relations today portray a comprehensive and multi-faceted nature. Two countries have a strong interaction in various fields of common interest, including politics, economy, trade, finance, culture, arts, education, science, academia and tourism.

Our bilateral trade volume exceeds US$10 billion. For years, the Netherlands has been the top foreign investor in Türkiye. Likewise, in terms of Turkish Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the Netherlands is at the top of the list.

Another important aspect of our bilateral relations are the close human-to-human contacts. Today, there are 84 weekly flights between Türkiye and the Netherlands, enabling business people, students, tourists and other visitors to travelbetween two countries. More than 1,2 million of our Dutch friends have chosen Türkiye for their holidays in 2022. Furthermore, Turkish students have been showing increasing interest in Dutch higher education institutions. These figures clearly show the strong interaction between Türkiye and the Netherlands.

The existence of a more than 500.000 -strong Turkish-Dutch community constitutes an important driving force in our relations. Today, members of the Turkish-Dutch community are active participants in every aspect of the Dutch society. We are proud to take note of their success stories as entrepreneurs, artists, academics, politicians and in all other walks of life, building true bridges of friendship between the two nations.

We have seen the strength of the Turkish-Dutch community once again in the days following the devastating earthquakes of 6 February 2023 in Türkiye. As a result of their high-levelorganizational skills and generous nature, members of this community were able to gather significant amounts of humanitarian assistance for the victims of the disaster in a matter of days. Our Dutch friends worked hand in hand with them.

I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute once again to the Government and people of the Netherlands, from the very top officials to all citizens for being with us and standing by Türkiye in this difficult time. The Netherlands was one of the first countries to respond to our call for international help, with their search and rescue teams, doctors, medivac experts and humanitarian aid organizations among others. On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Türkiye and on my behalf, I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Netherlands.

The Embassy will share via its website, development on bilateral relations and announcements of its activities, which aim to further enhance the already good cooperation and understanding between the two countries and peoples.

The Embassy, together with our three Consulate-Generals, stands ready to assist should you have any questions.

On this occasion I extend my best wishes.

Selçuk ÜNAL



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