POLİTİCS

Qatar and Turkey ... Relations that transcend traditional diplomatic frames

The relations between Qatar and Turkey have never before taken such a prominent and unconventional shape as it is taking nowadays. These relations have transformed from being merely diplomatic to evolving into a military alliance and economic partnership

Jaber Al Harmi Yeni Şafak
The relations between Qatar and Turkey have never before taken such a prominent and unconventional shape as it is taking nowadays. These relations have transformed from being merely diplomatic to evolving into a military alliance and economic partnership

Since the advent of the Justice and Development Party government in Turkey in 2002, Qatar and Turkey have been accelerating steps towards convergence, which led to economic treaties soon after mutual visits of senior officials of both countries, many of which were headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Turkish-Qatari relations entered a new phase, especially after the establishment of a Higher Strategy Committee on the 19th of December 2014 headed by President Erdoğan and Sheikh Tamim to resolve issues directly, away from the joint committees between the countries, which are often subject to procedures and routines delaying the resolution of agreements between the two countries. As such, Turkey and Qatar established this strategic committee, which is assumed to be one of the supreme mechanisms to adjust the bilateral relations between them in terms of politics, economy, trade, investment, education, culture, science and technology. This committee's functions are believed to ensure the immunization of the previous achievements throughout the cooperation process between the two sides.

In terms of military, Turkey and Qatar signed a cooperation agreement, which implies that the two sides may exchange the deployment of joint forces between them. In addition to that on the 2nd of July 2002, they both signed a cooperation agreement on military training, as well as a memorandum of understanding in the defense industry.

As for the economy, it is expected that the mutual trade this year will reach $1.5 billion, after which it was $800 million in 2014 and did not exceed $38 million in 2000.

Today in Qatar, more than 60 major Turkish companies and about 150 other small ones are operating in the fields of contracting, electronics, trade and infrastructure, with investments expected to reach $30 million, while the Qatari investments in Turkey reach up to $20 million focusing on energy, real estate and agriculture.

The coming days are expected to witness the completion of the Turkish village in Doha, the capital of Qatar, after the Emir of Qatar and President Erdoğan laid the foundation stone of this village on an area of about 400,000 square meters. It will represent a miniature city of Istanbul and will involve huge investment projects, including buildings and construction of Ottoman-style markets and service facilities in addition to hotels and a mosque. This project substantially represents the historical and civilizational dimension that connects the Turks and Qataris and underlines the special relationship between them.

Politically wise, during an interview on February 13, 2012, I asked President Erdoğan, when he was Prime Minister, on how do Turkey and Qatar view the issues of the region, and his answer was perfectly fit in the context for he said: “Our vision is one regarding the region's issues; it is as if we are looking from one window."

And this is indeed how things are happening, for there is absolute consistency between Turkey and Qatar's visions with regards to the inflamed issues in the region, most notably Syria, Libya and the Arab Spring revolutions. This consistency, which is built upon transparency, sincerity of attitudes and intentions and a genuine desire to find solutions for the region's issues, led to the formation of a strong alliance, which can be set as an example for unity between countries.

The events have proved that Turkey and Qatar's stances regarding the region's issues are the most suitable and accurate. Had the regional and world powers listened to the voices of these two countries, many conflicts would have been solved, and the people of the region wouldn't have been forced to pay for this bloodshed. Those same people are the ones who were seeking freedom and dignity, and who found no one truthfully supporting them but Turkey and Qatar.

We, in Qatar, are proud of the relationship we have with our brothers in Turkey, which has today crossed the traditional diplomatic framework between countries. It actually became a strong brotherhood where each brother is keen on the interest of the other, as if it was his own. We are confident that the next phase will witness more cooperation and integration in order for it to be a model. This year, we are celebrating the Qatari-Turkish cultural year, which is proof that our relations are rooted, interrelated and transcend political, economic and investment aspects, and they are linked to the identity and cultural ties that bind us.


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