Lebanon officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in the Levant region of Western Asia, and the transcontinental region of the Middle East. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus lies west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon’s location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland has contributed to its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2 (4,036 mi2), it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent. The official language, Arabic, is the most common language spoken by the citizens of Lebanon.
Despite Lebanon’s small size, Lebanese culture is renowned both in the Arab world and globally, powered by its large and influential diaspora. Prior to the civil war, the country enjoyed a diversified economy that included tourism, agriculture, commerce, and banking. Its financial power and stability through the 1950s and 1960s earned Lebanon the name of “Switzerland of the East”,while its capital, Beirut, attracted so many tourists that it was known as “the Paris of the Middle East”. Since the end of the war, there have been extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. While still recovering from the political and economic effects of the conflict, Lebanon remains a cosmopolitan and developing country, with the highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world outside of the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf.
Lebanon was conquered by the Ottomans in the 16th century and remained under their rule for the next 400 years. Following the empire’s collapse after World War I, the five provinces constituting modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate. The French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, which was predominately Maronite and Druze, to include more Muslims. Upon independence in 1943, Lebanon established a unique confessionalist form of government, with the major religious sects apportioned specific political powers. President Bechara El Khoury, prime minister Riad El-Solh, and minister of defence Emir Majid Arslan II are considered the founders of modern Lebanon and national heroes for their role in independence. Lebanon initially enjoyed political and economic stability, which was shattered by the bloody Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) between various political and sectarian factions. The war partially led to military occupations by Syria (1975 to 2005) and Israel (1985 to 2000).
Turkish-Lebanese relations are the diplomatic relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Lebanon. Lebanon has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate general in Istanbul. Turkey has an embassy in Beirut. The two nations are connected through history because Lebanon gained independence from Ottoman Syria.
The Ottoman Empire, which controlled Lebanon as part of Syria Vilayet, had Lebanon as the most diverse region in the Ottoman Empire. There were several ethnic and religious tensions, notably the infamous 1840 Lebanon conflict and 1860 Mount Lebanon civil war which devastated Lebanon and the Ottomans further imposed strict rule in Lebanon.
During the World War I, the Ottomans imposed a forcible blockade to prevent supplies from being taken by the French and the British. However, this resulted in the Great Famine of Mount Lebanon, which claimed the lives of a half of the Lebanese population at the time. This formed the basic disdain and hostility against Turkey among Lebanese population.