Erdogan visits Qatar to seek funds for strengthening regional footing despite COVID19 travel curbs
On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Qatar to seek more funds for its plummeting economy as the country did not have enough foreign exchange reserves to feed militias and terror groups and fuel proxy wars. No nation can fight war with dwindling economy, hence Turkey needed another monetary injection from its rich Gulf ally, to strengthen its economic and political position not only against Libya and Syria but also European Union. In order to achieve his long-time dream of re-establishing the supremacy of Ottoman Empire in the region, Erdogan needed free flow of funds be it for sparking civil war in Libya and Syria or triggering refugee crisis in neighbouring European nations.
Turkey’s ambition to dominate the region is quiet obvious and linear, but what analyst wonder is what’s in for Doha in this deal. Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s generosity was seen last month when he supported Turkish central bank by tripling a currency-swap agreement to $15 billion. In return, Qatari head acquired a $1 billion tank factory for $50 million, and the ownership of half of BMC, one of Turkey’s largest manufacturer of commercial and military vehicles.
Qatar also got hold of media by acquiring Turkey’s largest pay TV operator, Digiturk, and became one of the investors in the ATV-Sabah media group. Besides, Doha gained possession of the shares of Banvit, a poultry producer and Beymen, a high-end departmental store. The list of trade off also included mansions in Istanbul’s famous Bosporus, hotels in the coastal resort of Marmaris, and the Sürmene plateau in the northern Black Sea region.
Both Erdogan and Tamim have lot in common to bond over, ranging from funding and sheltering terror outfits to fanning extremist ideology across Middle East. This growing devious bond made many anxious as to what the current meeting would lead to. While many also anticipated what could be the reason which compelled the Turkish leader to even violate international laws, with regard to Covid-19 travel curbs in order to hold in-person meetingwith Qatari Emir. Turkey has been facing pressure on all fronts, be from US in form of sanctions to evacuate Syria, from Russian to put down arms in Libyan and from European Union to end refugee crisis and public outrage at home front over spiralling down Lira. Ankara badly needs a master stroke move and strong allies to regain trust of its people and neighbouring powers.
In this newly budding togetherness, Ankara and Doha also appeared to be quitting camp US as one could get a hint of it not only from Turkey’s failed military deal with US but also Doha’s recent open criticism of the US president Donald Trump’s strategic move.
In a series of tweets published earlier this week, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former Qatari Prime Minister slammed Trump administration’s decision to withdraw US troops and shut some of its bases across Middle East. One of his translated tweet read, “The United States would soon lose its power and persona of a global super power with the withdrawal of its troops and would also lose business of superior arms sales, followed by the wearing down of various companies that gained superiority over rest due to American military power. When the American military force withdraws from the countries in which it was positioned, these companies would follow, because many nations dread America because of its military power on a global scale.”
Besides the overtly blooming friendship, Ankara and Doha seemed to be lacking the trust needed to form basis of a strong alliance. Erdogan in his recent visit to Qatar was accompanied by Turkish forces for security reasons, quiet an unusual entourage to be carried along by a leader visiting a friendly nation