Croatia is ‘important friendly country,’ NATO ally, says Turkish ambassador in Zagreb
Turkiye and Croatia, which have 30 years of bilateral relations, aim to achieve a bilateral trade volume of $1 billion this year, the Turkish ambassador in Zagreb said.
“Bilateral trade volume grew steadily except for 2020, which was slightly affected by the pandemic, and reached $890 million by the end of 2021,” Mustafa Babur Hizlan told Anadolu Agency.
Hizlan stressed the relations between the two countries entered a new period after Croatia gained independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991.
Noting that Turkiye, which recognized Croatia’s independence on Feb. 6, 1992, he reminded that diplomatic relations between the two countries were officially established on Aug. 26, 1992 and mutual embassies were opened in 1993.
He underlined that Croatia is an “important friendly country” and a NATO ally.
Currently, around 45 Turkish firms are operating in Croatia and Turkish entrepreneurs have significant investments in the country in several sectors such as tourism, construction, banking and renewable energy, Hizlan said.
The ambassador pointed out that the renewal of the Krizevci-Koprivnica-Botovo railway line, which is known as Croatia’s most expensive infrastructure project to date, and the construction of a second line are also being carried out by a Turkish company.
Ivana Zerec, Croatia’s consul general in Istanbul,said Turkiye and Croatia are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their bilateral relations, adding that the two countries have had good political, economic and diplomatic relations for 30 years.
About the EU membership process, she noted that Croatia joined the EU in 2013, and said Turkiye’s candidacy has a great importance in terms of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Considering that Croatia is preparing to enter the euro area, she said the bilateral trade between the two countries will definitely increase in the coming years.
Fuat Korkmaz, the coordinator of Turkish cultural center Yunus Emre Institute’s Zagreb branch, said the center’s events are attended by thousands of Croatian people who have been working in Turkish companies or getting education in Turkish schools.