Qatar–Turkey relations

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Turkey–Qatar relations
Map indicating locations of Turkey and Qatar



Qatar–Turkey relations are the bilateral relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Turkey. They first began in 1972.[1] There has been ongoing cooperation and dialogue in regional and international issues since the 2010s, particularly in the Syrian Civil War and the Egyptian Crisis.[2] The relations between both countries are not limited to political affinity, unfortunately especially after recent efforts from both sides to strike conspicuous economic and military cooperation deals. Meaning no major economic cooperation or any social exchanges have been recorded yet.[3][4][5]

Political relations[edit]

Political cooperation[edit]

The history of bilateral relations between Qatar and Turkey date back to the 1970s. In the 1980s, the two nations began signing bilateral agreements with one another. Bilateral relations gained further traction in the 2000s with the signing of a number of bilateral agreements.[6]

Qatar and Turkey share similar positions on the Syrian Civil War and the Egyptian Crisis.[2] The two formed a single bloc in the Syrian Civil War and supported the same rebel groups.[7] In the Egyptian Crisis, both Turkey and Qatar were opposed to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's leadership. Their coordination in regional politics has been described as an alliance.[8] While commenting on the turmoil in the Middle East during a joint press conference held with Qatar in December 2014, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that "together with Qatar, we always side with oppressed people around the world".[9]

It was announced that Turkey and Qatar agreed to establish a cooperation council called 'High-level Strategic Cooperation Council' on January 19, 2015.[10] The decision was taken after a meeting between the countries' foreign ministers Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah concerning the recent mutual diplomatic shifts away from Egypt since Abdel Fattah el-Sisi rose to power in 2014.[11]

Diplomatic visits[edit]

High level visits have given a new momentum to the bilateral relations between the two countries. The visit of Qatari emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to Turkey on 25–26 December 2001 paved the way drawing the legal framework of economic and military cooperation through the signing of a number of protocols. These protocols included the Agreement on Prevention of Double Taxation,[12] the Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments,[13] and the Cooperation Agreement on Military Fields.[14]

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid several official visits to Qatar. His first visit to Qatar was in 2005; this was followed by visits in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012.[1]

Turkey's President Abdullah Gül, accompanied by the Minister of Finance, Minister of Energy, Minister of Public Work and Settlement, and a large group of businessmen, paid official visits to Qatar in February and April 2008.[1] Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also visited Qatar in April 2008, and gave a key speech at the Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade. He also held talks with Qatar's Emir, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister concerning economic agreements.[15] The Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Qatar paid return visits to Turkey in 2008, during which the 1st Turkish-Qatari Business Forum was held.[1]

In 2008, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan visited Qatar to attend “The US-Islamic World Forum” as a keynote speaker organized by Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US based Brookings Institution, as well as to have a bilateral meeting with his colleague Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani.[16]

In February 2016 Turkish President Erdoğan met with Qatari Emir Tamim al-Thani in Istanbul to discuss military cooperation in Syria.[17]

Military relations[edit]

Qatar and Turkey signed an agreement in July 2002 which involved cooperation in military training and arms sales.[18] In March 2015, both countries signed a military agreement which entailed mutual military deployment and the exchange of military training.[19] However, the reasons behind this military agreement have not been officially explained, therefore raising suspicions in Turkey over whether Turkish military personnel stationed in Qatar would help train Syrian opposition groups.[20]

On 2 December 2015, during a Turkish presidential visit to Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad and Tayyip Erdoğan announced the planned creation of a Turkish military base in Qatar; a first for Turkey in the Persian Gulf.[21] On December 16, 2016 Turkey’s Ambassador to Qatar Ahmet Demirok declared that the establishment of the base was part of a broader defence agreement between the two countries to help them confront “common enemies.”[5] According to Eyup Ersoy, a Gulf politics expert teaching at Bilkent University, the military base exemplifies Turkey and Qatar’s willingness to overcome their strategic isolation in the region.[22]

The agreement was signed in 2014 and ratified by the Turkish Parliament in June 2015.[4] The base is expected to be completed in two years.[23] According to Ambassador Demirok, air and naval units, military trainers, special operations forces as well as 3,000 ground troops will be stationed at the base.[4][22]

Economic relations[edit]

Economic relations witnessed substantial development in the 21st century. In the 2000, the total trade volume between the two countries was $38 million.[24] By 2014, this number had increased to $739 million, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.[25] This figure is lower than the trade volume between Turkey and all of its other trade partners in the region, except for Bahrain.[26]

On 11 June 2008, Qatar Investment Authority and Turkey Investment Support and Promotion Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and it opened a comprehensive cooperation between two countries.[1]

Qatar mainly imports from Turkey iron-steel products, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, home textile products, food and furniture, while Turkey’s investments in the Gulf country are mostly focused in the consultancy and construction sectors.[27] The Qatar-Turkey pipeline was proposed by Qatar in 2009 in order to connect the two region's natural gas reserves.[28] In fact, natural gas, along with plastic products and chemical derivatives, is among the products mostly imported by Turkey from Qatar.[27]

In 2015, there were more than 200 Turkish companies active in Qatar, whereas the investments made by Qatari businesses in Turkey amounted to around $20 million.[18] In 2015, Qatar had the second highest overall value of investments by any country in Turkey at $20 billion.[24]

Turkey reached an agreement with Qatar to purchase liquefied natural gas over a prolonged period in December 2015.[29] It was opined by analysts that, owing to diplomatic hostilities between Turkey and Russia, the deal was made by Turkey with the intent of replacing Russia with Qatar as its major LNG supplier.[30]

The cooperation between the two countries may soon extend into the field of infrastructure, as the World Cup Supreme Committee of Qatar, which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, has recently announced a collaboration agreement with the Turkish Football Federation.[31]

Cultural relations[edit]

On 4 December 2013, Erdoğan inaugurated the new headquarters of the country's embassy in Doha and announced the establishment of a Turkish cultural center in Qatar.[32] The construction of a 'Turkish village' in Doha was launched in September 2014 in the midst of a visit by President Erdoğan.[33] The village is set to occupy approximately 400,000 sq meters and will feature traditional Ottoman markets, hotels and other service facilities.[18]

The Qatar–Turkey 2015 Year of Culture was implemented by the Qatari government as an initiative to improve cultural cooperation between the two countries.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Republic of Turkey". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Turkey, Qatar strengthen economic ties". Al Monitor. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Karagülle, Muhsin. "Turkey-Qatar relations lack substance, analysts believe". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Revealed: Secret details of Turkey's new military pact with Qatar". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Turkey to set up Qatar military base to face 'common enemies'". Reuters. 2015-12-16. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  6. ^ "Turkey, Qatar have constructive influence in region, says envoy". Daily Sabah. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Are Saudi Arabia and Turkey About to Intervene in Syria?". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Turkey and Qatar look to be building a new alliance". Middle East Monitor. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Erdoğan: We side with Qatar to support oppressed people". Daily Sabah. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "Turkey, Qatar agree to form cooperation council". Anadolu 20 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Turkish FM in Qatar visit amid Egypt split". Hürriyet Daily News. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Funda Basaran Yavaslar. "Exchange of information versus tax solution of equivalent effect - Turkey’s National Report" (PDF). European Association of Tax Law Professors. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Agreement between the government of the State of Qatar and the government of the Republic of Turkey concerning the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments" (PDF). World Intellectual Property Organization. 25 December 2001. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Questionnaire on the code of conduct on politico-military aspects of security". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. p. A-3. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "Turkey accelerates efforts for LNG purchase from Qatar". Today's Zaman. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Turkish foreign minister Ali Babacan has highly highlighted the progressing Qatari-Turkish relations". Qatar Conferences. 17 February 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Erdoğan meets Qatari emir, discusses mutual strategies". Daily Sabah. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c Jaber Al Harmi & Yeni Şafak (10 September 2015). "Qatar and Turkey ... Relations that transcend traditional diplomatic frames". Yeni Şafak. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "Turkey-Qatar agree to military cooperation". Middle East Monitor. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  20. ^ Karagülle, Muhsin. "Motivation behind recent military agreement with Qatar remains a mystery". Today's Zaman. 
  21. ^ "Turkey ‘to establish military base in Qatar’". Gulf News. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  22. ^ a b
  23. ^ "Turkey Military Base in Qatar ‘Completed’ in Two Years". Defense News. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  24. ^ a b "Qatar investors see big-ticket new opportunities in Turkey". Gulf Times. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  25. ^ TurkStat. "DIŞ TİCARET İSTATİSTİKLERİ VERİ TABANI". Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  26. ^ Karagulle, Muhsin. "Turkey-Qatar relations lack substance, analysts believe". Today's Zaman. 
  27. ^ a b "From Rep. of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  28. ^ Tamsin Carlisle (26 August 2009). "Qatar seeks gas pipeline to Turkey". The National. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  29. ^ Serdar Karagöz (2 December 2015). "Turkey, Qatar sign liquefied natural gas agreement". Daily Sabah. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  30. ^ Olgu Okumuş (4 December 2015). "Will Turkey be able to replace Russian gas with Qatari imports?". Al Monitor. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  31. ^ "Turkey and Qatar ready to sign a deal for 2022 FIFA World Cup". DailySabah. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  32. ^ ""أردوغان" يفتتح مبنى جديدا لسفارة تركيا في الدوحة". Shoroukh News. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  33. ^ "Foundation stone laid for Turkish Village". Gulf Times. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  34. ^ "Qatar Turkey 2015 Year of Culture". Retrieved 30 July 2015. 

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