Brief History of Relations between Turkey and the Republic of South Africa (RSA)
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and the RSA were established in 1993. The embassy of the RSA in Ankara and the Turkish Embassy in Pretoria were established on 27 February 1993 and 22 March 1994 respectively. Turkey has an Honorary General-Consulate in Cape Town. Republic of South Africa has Honorary General-Consulates in İstanbul, İzmir and Mersin.
Recent high-level visits have contributed a lot for the enhancement of bilateral relations in every field. There exists willingness on both sides and a great potential for the development of relations between Turkey and RSA in all fields.
In the Sub-Saharan Africa, RSA is the leading trade partner of Turkey. Turkey’s trade with RSA, which generates more than 30 percent of the GDP of all Sub-Saharan African countries and has the largest economy in its region, constitutes approximately 40 percent of Turkey's trade with the Sub-Saharan African countries. Trade volume between two countries in 2015 was 1,4 billion USD (export from Turkey: 489 million USD; import to Turkey: 918.5 million USD).
Approximately 70 Turkish companies operate in RSA. The value of the Turkish investments in RSA is more than 500 million USD. These investments are mostly in the mining and textile sectors. Moreover, there are many Turkish companies especially in Cape Town and Johannesburg which carry out retail and wholesale, as well as import of textiles, carpets and food products.
The number of Turkish citizens resident in RSA is estimated around 3000. Exchange of tourists between Turkey and RSA has considerably increased since the Turkish Airlines started to fly between İstanbul-Johannesburg-Cape Town on 17 September 2007. Turkish Airlines also started direct flights to Cape Town (in October 2015) and to Durban (in November 2015).
The Turkish Government, within the framework of Türkiye Bursları, allocates undergraduate and graduate scholarships to the South African Government every year.