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Dynamics of Sino–Turkish Relations: a Turkish Perspective


The relationship between Turkey and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has experienced some ups and downs from 1949 to present. In the first period of relations, Turkey was one of the countries that preferred to recognize the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan over the PRC, this lasted until 1970. The second period began when diplomatic relations were established between Turkey and the PRC in 1971. International security concerns and economic considerations have been among the major factors that shaped Sino–Turkish relations during these times in the 1970s and 1980s. In the third period, Ankara–Beijing relations seriously stagnated as a result of the Xinjiang issue and Ankara’s reestablishment of relations with Taipei during the 1990s. Turkey–PRC relations have come to exhibit a higher degree of multidimensionality in the fourth period starting in 2000. In addition to the increasing bilateral trade volume, the deepening economic and political cooperation between the two countries has also made Turkish–Chinese relations more important from a global standpoint. On the other hand, there are also a number of problems such as the mounting bilateral trade imbalance against Turkey, China’s deficiencies in the development of political, economic, and cultural rights of the Uyghurs, and uncertainties in determining the status of Ankara–Taipei relations. The steps that Ankara and Beijing will take with regard to the existing opportunities and possible challenges in bilateral relations will be decisive for future ties between the two countries. This article will analyze the key dynamics of Sino–Turkish relations, and in doing so, it will seek to determine how the relationship between the two countries has been shaped over time.

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Correspondence to Selcuk Colakoglu.

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Colakoglu, S. Dynamics of Sino–Turkish Relations: a Turkish Perspective. East Asia 32, 7–23 (2015).

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  • Turkey
  • China
  • Taiwan
  • Xinjiang
  • Bilateral relations
  • Foreign policy