Politically, Ankara has no problems with Colombo and the two countries have "completely friendly" relations, former Turkish envoy to Sri Lanka Tunca Özçuhadar said Wednesday.
Both nations are fighting separatist terrorism and have similar problems, Özçuhadar said in a videoconference with Cemal Demir, head of the Istanbul-based South Asia Strategic Research Center (GASAM).
Özçuhadar added that, especially in the international arena, both countries have supported their draft resolutions brought up to combat international terrorism.
He further reiterated that Sri Lanka usually votes in favor of Turkey's numerous nominations.
Speaking on the history of Turkey-Sri Lanka relations, he said Turkey's first formal relationship began with the Ottoman Empire's assignment of an honorary consul to Sri Lanka in the city of Galle in 1864.
Until 1915, Ottoman honorary consuls served in Sri Lanka. When Sri Lanka became independent in 1948, Turkey immediately recognized it, he added.
Sri Lanka opened its embassy in Ankara in 2012 and Turkey opened its embassy in Colombo in 2013.
In 2005, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a visit to Sri Lanka after a tsunami hit the country. Later, Sri Lanka's president visited Turkey in 2008, Özçuhadar also noted.
Following Erdoğan's visit, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also paid an official visit to Sri Lanka on June 14-15, 2016, becoming the first Turkish foreign minister to ever visit the island nation.
The two countries also had political consultations back on May 10, 2019, in Colombo where a Turkish delegation headed by Foreign Deputy Minister Sedat Önal met with a Sri Lankan delegation headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador H.E. Ravinatha Aryasinha.
"There are many issues that should be deepened in relations, the most important of which is economic relations," Özçuhadar continued his speech.
In 2019, Turkey's trade volume with Sri Lanka was around $180 million (TL 1.332 billion), he said, adding that more Turkish investors can still be attracted to Sri Lanka.
Touching on Ankara's humanitarian aid to Colombo, he said the Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) built 450 houses in Sri Lanka after the tsunami.
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) also constructed 100 houses for Muslim refugees who suffered during the civil war in Mannar, Sri Lanka in 2015.