140 Years since the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Turkey


Commemorative postage stamps

Year of issue: 2019

In stock


In 1879, the Principality of Serbia and Ottoman Empire formally established diplomatic relations. The first representative of the independent Serbia in Istanbul was diplomat and politician Filip Hristić. By establishing better relations, the Ottoman Empire sent Huseyin Husnu Sermed Efendi to Belgrade on 8 May 1879. Serbia then opened consulates general in the south, in Salonika and Skopje and consulates in Bitola, Pristina and Serres. The Ottoman Empire opened consulates general in Belgrade, Užice, Kragujevac, Niš, Vranje and Kruševac.

Due to the ongoing conflicts in the Balkans, the Kingdom of Serbia, in alliance with Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro, entered the First Balkan War in 1912, which ended by the London Conference of 1913 culminating in the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire from the Balkans. After World War I, due to the Greco-Turkish War and unsigned international treaties, the resumption of highest-level diplomatic relations was delayed.

The Republic of Turkey appointed Tahir Lutfi (Tokay) as Turkish Consul to the Polish Embassy in Belgrade from 4 December 1924 to 24 May 1925, then Yusuf Hikmet Bayur was appointed as a delegate to Belgrade on 24 June 1925. Upon the Treaty on Friendship between Turkey and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in Ankara on 28 October 1925, diplomatic relations were reestablished. The Republic of Turkey appointed Yusuf Hikmet Bayur as minister on 18 January 1926. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes designated Tihomir Popović as ambassador in Ankara on 21 July 1926. In other words, diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Turkey were constantly improving. The Balkan Pact was formed in 1934, along with Romania and Greece, initiated by King Alexander and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The advancement of political relations contributed to the diplomatic missions in 1939 being simultaneously upgraded to the rank of embassies. The first ambassador of Yugoslavia to Turkey was Ilija Šumenković and Turkish ambassador to Belgrade was Tevfik Kamil Koperler.

For the last 80 years, diplomatic relations between the two countries have never been severed despite the occurrence of wars. After the Second World War, at a time when Yugoslavia was isolated by socialist countries, a new Balkan Pact was created in 1952-1954, together with Greece and Turkey. In the new century, relations are once again improving and are becoming better and more successful in the domains of politics and economy, and culture.

Expert collaboration: Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Belgrade; Dragoš Petrović, MSc in History, Archives of Yugoslavia, Belgrade; Tatijana Karanović, curator, Museum of Ponišavlje, Pirot.

Artistic realization of the issue: MA Nadežda Skočajić, academic graphic artist


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