The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo held a special session to mark its yearly "Turkish Day" event in its municipal council this week.
In an opening speech, Turkish Ambassador to Brazil Murat Yavuz Ateş said on Wednesday Turkey and Brazil were both important countries of their respective regions.
"In the region, Brazil is Turkey's first strategic partner politically and its biggest trade partner economically," Ateş said, adding that Ankara and Brasilia have enjoyed good relations for 160 years.
For his part, Municipal Assembly Speaker Eduardo Tuma underlined that Turkey and Brazil were two democratic brotherly countries with many potential avenues to improve bilateral relations including in culture and sports.
"Turkish Day," which has been celebrated since 2014, was also marked in Sao Paulo's State Council on May 24.
Among the attendees were Turkish Consul General to Sao Paulo Serkan Gedik as well as other officials from various countries including Belgium, the U.S., Mexico, Poland, San Marino and Iran.
Although Turkey has had diplomatic contact with Latin American countries since the 19th century, relations remained stagnant due to geographical distance up until the early 2000s. However, with the establishment of the Action Plan for Latin America and the Caribbean in 1998 and the declaration of 2006 as the Year of Latin America and the Caribbean in Turkey, relations gained new momentum.
From that point on, the two sides began to pay reciprocal official visits. Brazil even built a strategic partnership with Turkey to strengthen relations and in 2006 the Turkey-Brazil High-Level Cooperation Commission was established.