Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia’s capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country’s other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65,000 years prior to the first arrival of Dutch explorers in the early 17th century, who named it New Holland. In 1770, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia’s national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the time of an 1850s gold rush, most of the continent had been explored by European settlers and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
Australia is a developed country, with the world’s fourteenth-largest economy and tenth-highest per capita income.It is considered a regional power and has the world’s thirteenth-highest military expenditure. Immigrants, most particularly those arriving after World War II, account for up to 30% of the population, the highest proportion in any country with a population over 10 million.The country ranks highly in measures of health, education, economic freedom, and civil liberties.
Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum, and the ASEAN Plus Six.
Relations between Turkey and Australia
The diplomatic relations between Turkey and Australia were established in 1967. Turkish Embassy in Canberra was opened same year, and the Australian Embassy in Ankara in 1968.
Turkey has two General Consulates in Sydney and in Melbourne, as well as an Honorary Consulate in Brisbane. Australia has a General Consulate in Istanbul and a Consulate in Çanakkale.
The Çanakkale Battles have a special place in the history of relations between the two nations.
The commemoration ceremonies of the Çanakkale Battles are held in Çanakkale on 24-25 April every year with wide participation from Australia. The Centenary of the Çanakkale Battles were commemorated in April 2015 in Istanbul and Çanakkale with participation of representatives from a large number of countries and international organizations.
Former Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Tony Abbot visited Turkey on 22-26 April 2015 on the occasion of the centenary commemorations. During this visit, Turkey and Australia declared a Joint Statement to enhance bilateral cooperation on counter terrorism.
Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove visited Turkey on 3-9 August 2015 to participate in the ANZAC Day commemorations held in Gallipoli.
Turkey and Australia enjoy an efficient cooperation in the UN, G20 and MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, Korea Republic, Turkey, Australia).
The Turkish community in Australia, which number over 150.000 constitutes a bridge of friendship between the two nations.
The Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies of the Australian National University has launched the Turkish Program in 1994. After an interval in 2013-2014 academic year, the Program has begun to accept new students in 2015.
The Turkish-Australian Center at the Çanakkale 18 Mart University was opened in April 2009 by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Australia Stephen Smith.