An Interview With H.E. Kemal Demirciler, Ambassador (Turkey)

On the special occasion of Bahrain’s National Day, Gulf Insider takes a closer look at relationships between Bahrain and some of its major trading partners.

Is there anything that makes your country’s relationship with Bahrain special?

Turkey and Bahrain enjoys friendly relations for so many years. Even before its independence, Bahrain airport served as a hub to the travellers who come from Turkey and travelled to the south- East Asia in 1950’s. His Majesty King Hamad was one of the leaders who visited Turkey in order to show solidarity with the Turkish Government after the failed coup d’état which was orchestrated by the members of terrorist group called FETÖ in 2016. The President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan reciprocated His Majesty’s visit in February 2017.

What are your country’s main trading activities with Bahrain?

Turkey and Bahrain have good commercial and economic relations. Turkey mainly imports aluminium and petro-chemicals from Bahrain and exports spare parts, foodstuffs, textiles and garments, tobacco products. Turkey’s exports $ 227.4 million and imports $186.7 million, totalling $ 414 million in 2017. The first 9 months’ turnover reached $ 374.5 million this year. I believe that these figures do not reflect the real potential and can be improved. For this end, our countries’ business people should seek ways to tap the potential in full.

Any interesting news, recent or historical, about your country’s relations with Bahrain?

In addition to the traditional friendship between Turkey and Bahrain, our geographical proximity is an advantage. You can reach Istanbul in four hours by plane. There are at least three different flights every day. Turkey is one of the preferred destinations by Bahraini tourists. Last year, Bahrainis visited Turkey 59.442 times (We know that some Bahrainis go to Turkey more than once). The first nine months statistics indicates that the number stood at 59.296.

Any short message for our readers on Bahrain’s National Day?

Bahrain will celebrate 47th anniversary of its independence in December. We wish all the best to His Majesty King Hamad, and to HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, as well as to HRH Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Turkey believes that Bahrain will continue to enjoy prosperity and democracy under the able leadership of His Majesty King Hamad in the years to come.