Turkey and Spain

Spain and Ottoman Empires Relations………………………………………………………….
Spain and Turkey Relations .................................................................................... .
1. 1. Similarities ......................................................................................... ……..
1. 2. Trade ............................................................ …………………………………
1. 3. Direct Investments ...................................................................................... .
1. 4. Visas ........................................................................................................... .
1. 5 Cultural Sphere ………………………………………………………………………
Commercial and economiic relations between Turkey and Spain…………………………….
Los Turcos in Spain……………………………………………………………………………
Holiday wars……………………………………………………………………………………
The economic relations between the Ottoman and Spanish states have followed a unique
course within the international and regional conditions of the period, although not intensely.
Both states' claim to be the judge of the world, the East and West of the Mediterranean end
of these states have put each other into competition. Since the Ottomans considered
themselves the ruler and protector of the Islamic world, they acted in all their political,
military and economic enterprises. On the one hand they tried to maintain order in the land
they obtained, while trying to maintain a stable continuity of social and economic life, and
on the other hand they tried to expand into new areas. The expansion of the Ottoman
Empire in the east and west was not only with the concern of seizing new territories. Within
the scope of its expansion, there were also political and religious concerns as well as
economic targets. As a matter of fact, they continued their progress towards the places that
would provide them with the highest benefit and provide them with the richness they had.
These goals can be seen easily in the direction of the conquests. The Ottoman progress was
made towards the important trade centers, roads and ports of the period. XVI. In the
beginning of the 19th century, the Spanish Kingdom, which provided its unity in the Iberian
Peninsula, embarked on conquest movements in the Mediterranean as a defender of
Catholicism and the desire to establish a world empire. The basic motive in the Spanish
conquest movements was to reach the treasures and precious goods offered by the east. In
fact, this was the motive that led European societies to geographical discoveries. The
Spaniards wanted to control the commercial traffic between the East and the West by
establishing sovereignty over the Mediterranean, as the importance of American treasures
at that time had not yet emerged. On the one hand, they were trying to establish bases on
the coasts of North Africa, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the islands of North
Africa. Thus, they would reach the Eastern Mediterranean and dominate the trade routes
from the East.
The westward direction of the Ottoman Empire and Spain towards the east in a short time
confronted the two states. The countries that emerged as rivals in the Mediterranean,
entered into a three-year competition and struggle, although the intensity changed. The first
stage of the struggle was the XVI, where the two sides engaged directly in navy battles and
made intense efforts to gain a superiority over each other. century This century, we can say
the century of competition. XVI. In the 19th century, direct economic relations became very
weak. The sides banned economic and commercial relations because of the wars between
them. Trade between the two countries is only maintained by intermediary states, ports and
cities, or by activities such as smuggling and piracy. Even though there were attempts at
peace between the parties from time to time to make a direct connection, they failed.
The political relations between our country and Spain have become official by the
presentation of the Peace, Friendship and Trade Agreement by the Spanish
Ambassador to the Ottoman Sultan in 1783. The Spanish Embassy in Istanbul
started its activities on the same date. The Turkish Embassy in Madrid was
established in 1857. Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Spain, was upgraded
to Embassy level since January 1, 1951.
Turkey-Spain relations, since the mid-1980s, Spain's NATO and EU accession, the
return to parliamentary democracy in Turkey and opening up to foreign markets of
both countries and similar economic policies that give priority to the liberalization of
applications began to rebound as a result. A Friendship Agreement was signed
between the two countries on 16 April 1989.
Our bilateral relations with Spain have gained a new dimension in 2005 under the
auspices of the President of the Republic of Turkey (Prime Minister) and the Alliance
of Civilizations, which was initiated by the Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero. On the
other hand, first held in 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey-Spain Intergovernmental Summit
meetings has brought to the next level of our relations with Spain. Fifth Meeting of the
Turkey-Spain Intergovernmental Summit was held in Ankara on February 11, 2014
Prime Minister co-chaired by the two countries.
Spain's support for our country's EU membership process is positively reflected in our
political relations.
Economic and trade cooperation constitutes an important aspect of Turkey-Spain
relations. In 2016, our bilateral trade volume increased by 3.3% compared to the
previous year and reached 10 billion 670 million USD (import: 5 billion 679 million
USD, exports: 4 billion 991 million dollars). Our imports increased by 1.6% and our
exports increased by 5.3%. In this period, Spain became the 8th trade partner of our
country. (10th in import and 8th in export)
The main products in our export to Spain are automobiles, wagons, racing cars, oils
derived from petroleum oils and bituminous minerals and ready-to-wear products.
The main products in our imports are automobiles, wagons, race cars, refined
copper, untreated copper alloys, parts of motor vehicles.
651 Spanish companies are active in our country. In the period of 2002-2016, the
total amount of investment from Spain to our country was 7 billion 636 million USD. In
Spain, there are approximately 75 Turkish companies. 2002-2016 period, direct
investment from Turkey to Spain and 150 million dollars.
In 2016, 106,582 Spanish tourists visited our country. We have approximately 4000
citizens in Spain.
Analysis: After winning the support of the United Nations in 2005 for the ‘Alliance of
Civilisations’, a project initiated by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero with
the support of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the two leaders agreed in
September 2008 to upgrade their relations and hold an annual summit. Turkey holds
an annual summit with only one other country, Italy.
Until then, Turkey was not very much on the Spanish radar, although its bid to join
the EU is backed by both the ruling Socialists and the conservative Popular Party
(PP), the main opposition, and is one of the few foreign policy initiatives that enjoys
the support of both parties. It was the PP under its former Prime Minister, José María
Aznar, which pushed recognition of Turkey as a candidate for EU membership at the
1999 EU summit in Helsinki.
Among the large EU economies, Spain, the UK and Italy are Turkey’s most active
backers. Germany and France are opposed to Turkey’s full EU membership and
instead believe the country’s closer EU ties should take the form of a privileged
Spain and Turkey share a number of historic similarities which, coupled with
contemporary considerations, make them suitable partners. Among them are:
• The countries are at opposite ends of the Mediterranean, on the periphery of
• Both have a long Islamic past (between 711 and the fall of the last Moorish kingdom
in Granada in 1492 the whole of southern Spain and parts of the northern half
were under Muslim rule).
• Both have had large empires, in Turkey’s case the Ottoman Empire and in Spain’s
case its colonies in Latin America and the Philippines.
• Both were, or in Turkey’s case still are, significantly agricultural economies.
• Both have undergone massive internal migration from rural areas to cities and
• Both have ‘exported’ hundreds of thousands of workers to Europe (Turks began to
emigrate to Germany at around the same time as Spaniards in the 1960s).
• Both countries have had strong statist economic policies, until their economies
began to be opened up.
• Both countries were enlisted for geostrategic reasons during the Cold War years by
the US, which established military bases in Spain and Turkey (in 1953 and 1952,
respectively). Both joined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) in 1961, Turkey as a founder member.
• Both countries also have disputes over small territories that continue to cause
headaches –in Spain’s case its North African territories and Gibraltar, and in
Turkey’s Cyprus–.
• Both Spain and Turkey have also suffered from real or imagined ‘black legends’ that
even today affect the countries’ images abroad.
The two countries have come a very long way since the famous naval battle of
Lepanto in 1571 in the Gulf of Patras off western Greece when the so-called ‘Holy
League’, a Christian coalition formed by Spain, Venice and the Papacy, defeated the
galleys of the Ottoman Turks and prevented the Muslims from advancing into
Europe. The battle, at which Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, lost the
use of his left arm, is commemorated in a painting hanging in the Prado Museum in
Madrid by an unknown artist; Spanish and Turkish children learn about it from very
different perspectives (see Figure 1). It is thus rather appropriate that more than 400
years later Spain and Turkey should spearhead an initiative to promote better
understanding between religions.
Figure 1
In 1968, Spain and Turkey both had populations of around 30 million. Today,
Turkey’s population is 74 million and Spain’s 44 million. The average age in Turkey is
29 years compared with Spain’s 45 years. Turkey’s per capita GDP of around
US$13,000 is roughly the same as Spain’s before it joined the EU in 1986. Just as
Spain’s per capita income began to shoot up as of 1986 (to US$30,000 in 2008),
spurred by EU membership and macroeconomic stability, so Turkey’s, too, began to
climb significantly as of 2002, under the momentum of its customs union with the EU
(as of 1996) and the structural reforms under the Justice and Development Party
(AKP), which has been in power seven years.
When Mariano Rajoy, the PP leader, met Erdogan in 2008 in Madrid he was much
keener to talk about the business possibilities for Spain in Turkey than the issue of
Turkey’s flagging EU negotiations, and with reason.
Two-way trade between the two countries increased from €2.85 billion in 2002 to
€6.6 billion in 2008 (see Figure 2). Spanish exports to Turkey, over this period,
doubled to €2.98 billion (from 1% of the total to 1.6%) and its imports from the
country more than doubled to €3.66 billion (from 0.8% to 1.3% of the total). The
balance has been in Turkey’s favour since 2004. Nonetheless, Turkey is a significant
trade partner. Excluding the EU, Turkey is Spain’s third most important trade partner
after the US and Mexico. Its exports to Turkey in 2008 were more than those to
Poland and to Russia and represented close to 40% of those to the US
Spain’s main exports to Turkey are cars, machinery, boilers, steel and iron, electrical
appliances and chemicals. The chief imports from Turkey are car components (both
countries have significant motor industries), clothing and chemicals.
Direct Investment
The direct investment relation is very much in Spain’s favour. Net direct investment
by Spanish companies in Turkey (inflows less outflows) amounted to €2.15 billion
between 2000 and 2008, compared with €13.7 million of Turkish net direct
investment in Spain (see Figure 3). The main Spanish investments in Turkish
companies are the acquisition in 2006 by La Seda –the textiles and chemicals group
and one of Europe’s largest producers of artificial and synthetic fabrics and yarns– of
the textiles group Advansa, which also has plants in the UK and Rumania, for €320
million, Mapfre’s purchase in 2007 of 80% of the insurer Genel Sigorta for €285
million and Grupo Essentium’s acquisition in 2008 of 80% of Universal Cimento –one
of Turkey’s biggest cement producers– for around €400 million. Essentium has an
option to fully own Universal Cimento.
Sigorta is Turkey’s sixth-largest motor insurer and the 10 biggest in non-life business. It has
a market share of more than 3%. Per capita insurance levels are very low in Turkey and thus
the potential for growth in this sector is considerable. Likewise, Turkey’s construction sector
is enjoying a boom along the lines of Spain’s before the economy went into recession and
several large companies collapsed under the overload of their debts and stocks of houses
they were unable to sell. Future projects in a country with huge infrastructure needs include
a third bridge over the Bosporus and one for cars under the waterway.
The largest project involving Spanish companies is the recently completed highspeed train line between Ankara and Eskisehir (245km). Construcciones y Auxiliar de
Ferrocarriles (CAF) supplied 12 trains with six carriages for €220 million and OHL
carried out the railway work. The rest of the line to Istanbul is in the hands of a
Chinese company. Future railway projects, for which Spain is well placed, include
Ankara-Sivas, Ankara-Konya and Ankara-Izmir. CAF was also awarded the contract
to supply the Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya with 14 trams and 33 suburban
trains for Izmir, the country’s largest port, after Istanbul, on the Aegean coast. CAF
has around €400 million worth of business in Turkey.
Seopan, the body representing the powerful Spanish construction sector, that is
desperate to win more contracts abroad to offset the big slump in its domestic
business, signed a memorandum of co-operation with its Turkish counterpart in April.
Several big Spanish companies have been particularly successful in Latin America
and the US, while Turkish companies have won business in Turkic republics and in
Russia. Whether Spanish companies win any significant business in Turkey remains
to be seen as Turkish construction companies are as powerful in their own country as
Spanish ones are in theirs and like them reluctant to cede any of the pie.
Renewable energy, where several Spanish companies are world leaders, is another
area of potential co-operation. The two governments signed an agreement during the
summit. Like Spain, Turkey is virtually 100% energy dependent, but unlike it it
receives two-thirds of its natural gas from Russia, which has proved to be an
unreliable source. Turkey intends to spend US$120 billion on energy by 2020
(nuclear plants, dams for hydraulic power, etc). Iberdrola, the world’s largest
producer of wind power, has agreements with Calik Enerji and Turkas, but, despite
this, has not entered the Turkish market as it does not find the conditions attractive,
particularly in distribution of power (Turkey does not want to sell companies with
networks and substations but only operating rights) and in nuclear generation (the
remuneration framework guarantees are not sufficiently stable).
Telvent, the majority-owned subsidiary of the Spanish engineering company
Abengoa, is active in Turkey’s energy sector. It has worked with Botas, the stateowned natural gas pipeline company. This sector is viewed as particularly promising
since Turkey is involved in several very large gas and oil pipeline projects (Nabucco,
Tapco and BTC). Inabensa, another subsidiary of Abengoa, has won business in the
electricity sector.
In retailing, Spain’s Inditex, Europe’s leading clothes retailer, has 93 of its 4,264
stores in Turkey
In IT, Indra, the premier company in Spain, won a €38.5 million contract in March to
refurbish and extend the air space surveillance network that controls Turkey’s air
traffic. The radar stations to undergo modernisation are: Merzifon, Ankara, İzmir
Adnan Menderes, İzmir Akdağ, Batman, Karaman Ermenek, Burdur Eğlence,
İstanbul Yenibosna, Cyprus Ercan, Esenboğa Mira, Bahçe Akçadağ, Dalaman
Nuribaba, İnebolu Göynük, Erzurum, Ağrı, Antalya, Trabzon and Kıbrıs Ağırdağı.
In banking, Spanish banks have not added Turkey to the growing list of countries
where they have acquired banks. Banco Sabadell, based in Catalonia, is the only
Spanish bank with a permanent presence in Turkey and that is only in the form of a
representative office.
The Turkish banking system, thanks to the strong central bank oversight that Spain
also enjoys, has become one of the more solvent in Europe; following the Bank of
Spain’s recent intervention in Caja Castilla La Mancha, a troubled savings and loans
institution, and the country’s first bank rescue in the current financial crisis, Turkey is
the only big European country without an ailing bank that has had to be rescued.
It is much easier for Spaniards to enter Turkey with a visa than it is for Turks to come
to Spain, and this bone of contention was not resolved at the summit. Spaniards can
get their visa at a cost of €10 at their point of entry or from the Turkish embassy in
Madrid or consulate in Barcelona (re-opened in 2008), while Turks have to apply for it
in Turkey. There is no guarantee they will get it from the consulate in Istanbul or the
embassy in Ankara (as inexplicably happened, for example, to lawyers from
Gaziantep who were invited to a football match) and the process can take a long
time. Particularly affected are Turkish students, including those under the Erasmus
programme, some of whose visas take so long to come through that they miss their
courses in Spain.
Ankara would like a visa arrangement with Spain similar to the one it has with Italy,
under which visas are much more quickly facilitated to Turks –and free of charge–.
As Italy, like Spain, is one of the 15 Schengen agreement countries (which create a
borderless zone in the EU) some Turks, particularly businessmen, frustrated by
Spanish restrictions, have taken to obtaining an Italian visa and then using it to come
to Spain. This makes a mockery of Spain’s tighter controls.
Cultural Sphere
Spain and Turkey (established in 1923 on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire) both
created empires and claimed leadership of the Christian and Muslim worlds,
respectively. They have left indelible marks on world culture. Over the past 30 years
both nations have experienced profound cultural change and interest in each one has
increased notably. Picasso and Dali exhibitions in Istanbul, for example, attracted
more than 250,000 visitors and the films of Pedro Almódovar are popular, as is the
new wave of Turkish films in Spain. Spanish artists have taken part in the Istanbul
biennale and Turkish galleries participate in the Arco Art Fair in Madrid. Most of the
novels of Orhan Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, have been
translated into Spanish.
In 2001 Spain set up a Cervantes Institute in Istanbul for the teaching of Spanish and
dissemination of Hispanic culture. It has more students than the departments of
Spanish philology in Turkish universities. Few Spanish universities, however, teach
Turkish studies. In 2006 Spain and Turkey signed a three-year cultural and
educational exchange agreement to promote co-operation between higher education
establishments. Some secondary schools in Turkey have begun to teach Spanish.
The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Spain stood at 12 billion 681 million
USD in 2017, which corresponds to an increase of 18.8 percent compared to the year
before. (Exports 6 billion 308 million USD, imports 6 billion 373 million USD).
As of December 2017, there are 664 Spanish companies operating in Turkey in
various fields.
Main Turkish exports to Spain are automobile, textile, motor vehicles for carrying
goods, road vehicles parts (Turkey ranks number two after Republic of China in
Spain’s imports for textile and made-up clothes.) Main imports from Spain are off-theshelf clothes, road vehicles, automotive industry products, pharmaceuticals,
chemicals and iron and steel products (Except the EU countries, Turkey is the
biggest third export market of Spain after Morocco and USA).
Total amount of direct investments from Spain to Turkey in the period of 2002-2017 is
9 billion 71 million USD, while the figure is 161 million USD for investments from
Turkey to Spain in the same period.
More than 100 thousand Spanish tourists visited Turkey in 2017.
Relations between Spain and Turkey are bound to strengthen, even if the country
does not become a full EU member. Turkey’s EU negotiations and general reform
process have stalled over the last two years; only 10 of the 35 chapters required for
membership have been opened and one of them closed since accession negotiations
started in October 2005, a further eight are suspended until Turkey agrees to open its
ports to Greek Cypriot ships and five are blocked by France because President
Nicolas Sarkozy says that to open them would assume an outcome of full
Turkey has to resolve the long-drawn-out dispute over Cyprus (divided along ethnic
lines since Turkey invaded the island in 1974), an essential precondition for Turkish
EU entry, by the end of the year or face the possibility of a suspension of
negotiations. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004 and Turkey’s ban on Greek Cypriot ships
contravenes the Union’s principles.
Spain is the EU President in the first half of 2010; the Turkish authorities are hoping
Rodríguez Zapatero will find creative ways to get more chapters opened and so
make its support of Turkey’s full membership more visible. Turkey is reluctant to
budge on Cyprus without a clear assurance that it will be rewarded with full EU
membership at the end of its bumpy negotiating road. Depending on what happens
before the end of the year, it would send a positive signal to Ankara if Miguel Ángel
Moratinos, Spain’s Foreign Minister who knows the Cyprus problem well, agreed to
meet, for the first time, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat before Spain
takes over the EU Presidency. Washington, keenly pressing Turkey’s EU
membership for its own geostrategic reasons, is already moving on this front: Talat
met the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, on 15 April in the American capital.
Los Turcos
The Deportivo La Coruna football team is a team of Spain's A Coruna, founded in 1906,
fighting in the Spanish first league, La Liga. Deportivo matches are played at the Riazor
Stadium. The capacity of the stadium is 46.000. The Deportivo team is one of the most
important clubs in Spain.
Deportivo football team nicknamed Los Turcos so Turks. The reason for this is based on the
Ottoman period. As it is known, the Ottoman Empire has become a state that has been aided
by the oppressed people. For this reason, because of the genocide of the king and queen of
Spain at that time, the Ottoman Empire reached out to the Jews and sent Barbaros Hayrettin
Pasha to the Galipçe region of Spain to save the Jews. In this region, young people and people
of A Cor askerlerna city help Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha and his soldiers. Thus, there is a sweet
friendship between them. Celta vigo, another team of Galipçe Region, does not dig up this
cooperation and friendship and try to insult the people living in the city of Deportivo by
insulting them. In short, you're like Barbars, you're like them. However, the people of the city
of A Coruna is not a situation to be humiliated, it is something to be proud to be on the other
side by answering the answer to the Yes Yes we like Turks We are strong and brave as Turks
They adopt the nickname Los Turcos.
Deportivo La Coruna football team have shown that they are sticking to their past and today
they continue their struggle with the nickname Los Turcos, namely Turks. On their official
web sites, they have a Turkish forum and show that they are a team that loves the Turkish
people and the Ottoman Empire. It is known that the National Anthem was read from time to
time and they mostly opened the Turkish flag during the match. Especially in the matches, the
Turkish flag opening event in the Champions League with the Greek team Panathinaikos in
the match between them and the stadium a giant Turkish flag opened a team sitting on the
agenda of the world. We wish them success in their beautiful struggles.
Turkey and Spain: two of the most popular spots on the planet for Brits in search of a bit of
sun, delicious grub and culture.
But what about Turkey versus Spain?
We’ve set up a contest between these two great holiday countries with rounds for food, value
for money, things to see and even flight times.
Let the great holiday match begin!
Round one: paella v kebab
Two nations, two of the world’s great culinary traditions. In the red corner, paella, with its
basic ingredients of seafood and rice (with variations across Spain) but nutritious, cheap to
make, bursting with colour and, best of all, succulent with those rich flavours of citrus and
In the blue corner, another street food, the humble kebab. Probably more familiar to Brits as
a post-night-out, often rather greasy snack brought from countless corner vendors in the UK,
these cylinders of spit-roasted meat and veg take on a different quality in their Turkish
country of origin: tender cooked lamb contrasts with the zing of fresh vegetables, the juices
of both soaking into a wrapper of fresh, chewy bread.
Round two: flamenco v dervishes
Powerful, sensual, attitude-laden: Spain’s most recognisable dancing style, characterised by
smacking castanets and fiercely clapping hands, sweeps watchers up in its fierce emotional
In contrast, the whirling dervishes of Turkey – an Islamic sect known for their fine poetry and
music – perform a more solemn and serious dance freighted with religious significance but
equally moving to watch.
Round three: the Alhambra v the Hagia Sophia
The most visited attractions in Spain and Turkey both have Moorish roots, are equally grand
and elaborate and are in each case stunning examples of Islamic architecture.
The exterior of the Alhambra, a Moorish palace and fortress complex, looks like something
out of a fairy tale. Surrounded by water gardens and lush forests, its red outline is silhouetted
against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
By contrast, the Hagia Sophia, while still a vast manmade edifice with four towering minarets
marking each corner, really reveals its splendours inside.
Thousands of gold tiles, intricate mosaics, elegant pillars and bold Arabic calligraphy
characterise the lavish interior of the ancient cathedral turned mosque turned museum. Yet the
interior of the Alhambra is equally magnificent in its own way, if only for the genius of its
elaborate construction in which grand halls give way to cool passageways and tranquil walled
gardens in turn.
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