Qatari Ambassador to Turkey Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi said on Dec. 29 that relations between Qatar and Turkey are “exceptional, permanent, and enduring,” setting an “example to be emulated” on relations based on solid foundations.
In an interview with Turkish daily Hurriyet, the ambassador also hailed Turkey’s relentless support for Qatar, which he said dates back to the era of the Ottoman Empire.
“These relations are not recent, rather they go back to the era of the Ottoman Empire, and history lists facts in 1916 that show solidarity between the ruler of the State of Qatar Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani and the Ottomans at the time,” Al Shafi said, adding that the alliance between the two states remains steadfast because it is founded on “truth, loyalty and common values”.
Al Shafi referred to Turkey’s support for Qatar during the 2017 blockade as well as his country’s stance against the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey as strong demonstrations of the two countries’ alliance.
On the extent of spheres of bilateral cooperation, Al Shafi said they went beyond “strategic, political, economic, and defense aspects” to include brotherly and supportive relations between the peoples as well.
In terms of investment, Al Shafi expressed optimism in expanding Qatar’s investment in Turkey in sectors such as “real estate and construction, tourism and textiles, food and agriculture, livestock, and industry” describing the country as “promising” with “all requirements” to attract investment.
In response to allegations over Qatar’s investments in Turkey, Al Shafi said Qatar is not the only investor in Turkey and that such rumors “do not befit a big and great country like Turkey”.
He added that Qatar’s investment in Borsa Istanbul and in BMC – a joint Turkish-Qatari venture that manufactures armored vehicles – should not be politicized and should be seen in the context of business, noting that it also owns approximately 11% of the London Stock Exchange.
While responding to accusations by opposition parties in Turkey claiming existence of lack of transparency in bilateral business deals, Al Shafi stressed that investments in Turkey are in line with “legal procedures” and based on a “moral commitment” to support the Turkish economy when other countries are withdrawing their investments from Turkey on political grounds.
Al Shafi emphasized the historical friendly ties between the two countries, reiterating his country’s support for Turkey in its “just and righteous positions” despite all the pressures.