Bilateral relations with Switzerland began with the appointment of the Ottoman Empire’s envoy in Brussels to Switzerland in 1899-1900. Between 1908 and 1915, the Ottoman Embassy in Switzerland was not accredited. From 1915 onwards, an Ottoman ambassador resident in Bern began to serve. Since 1 November 1922, the Embassy in Bern has been attached to the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Embassy activities were carried out at the level of Maslahatgüzar after the declaration of the Republic. The first Ambassador Mehmet Münir Ertegün in the Republican period presented the trust letter on 1 October 1925. In 1925 the “Friendship Agreement” was signed. Switzerland opened its first representative in the Republic of Turkey (Embassy) in Istanbul in 1925. The first diplomatic representative presented the letter of confidence to Ataturk in 1928,
Another important dimension of our relations with Switzerland is the approximately 130 thousand citizens living in this country. The momentum captured in recent years in our bilateral relations has been reinforced by the visit of Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu on October 10, 2013. Head of the Confederation of Micheline Calmy-Rey visited our country on 26-27 December 2011 to give a speech at the Ambassador’s Conference.
Our Minister finally visited Switzerland on 2-3 November 2016 and 23 March 2017, at the invitation of his counterpart, Federal Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter. Our bilateral trade with Switzerland amounted to 5 billion 179 million dollars (exports: 2 billion 676 million dollars, imports: 2 billion 503 million dollars) in 2016. In the period of 2002-2016, the sum of the investments of Switzerland in our country reached 2 billion 326 million dollars. In the same period, the sum of Turkish investments in Switzerland is 760 million Dollars.
The number of companies established in partnership with Swiss capital or Swiss entrepreneurs in our country is around 800. Most of these companies are engaged in services and manufacturing, while others are engaged in agriculture and mining.
In 2016, 215,194 Swiss tourists visited Turkey.