Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, and declared Qatar was standing by its “brothers in Turkey” after announcing the significant investment in Turkey’s banks and financial markets.
Sheikh Tamim commented on the meeting, stating: “We stand by our brothers in Turkey that have stood with the issues of the Muslim world and with Qatar.
“Today, in the framework of important negotiations with His Excellency President Erdogan in Ankara, we announced a package of deposits and investment projects worth $15billion in this country, which has a productive, strong and robust economy.”
Qatar’s Ambassador to Turkey, Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi, also welcomed the move and stated his nation was being “proactive” in its support for Turkey.
We stand by our brothers in Turkey that have stood with the issues of the Muslim world and with Qatar
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
He said: “The State of Qatar is always proactive in supporting its Turkish brothers.”
Commenting on the Emir’s visit to Turkey, he added: “It will serve to confirm the close links between the Qatari and Turkish people and their common positions vis-a-vis the many challenges they face.”
He noted that Turkey was a “strategic ally” of Qatar, and stated the strong relations between the two nations “enjoys a special status among our people”.
Turkey is currently in the midst of a severe financial crisis, which has witnessed the collapse of its currency in recent days.
The Turkish lira fell by over 45 percent against the US dollar, but was trading at 6.0 to the US dollar with a 5.2 percent gain on Wednesday.
The stock market has also fallen 17 percent, and inflation has hit 15 percent.
Turkey’s financial crisis came after President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs against Turkish steel and aluminium in response to the ongoing incarceration of the US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson.
Mr Brunson has been imprisoned in Turkey since 2016, and is accused of helping to plot the 2016 coup attempt against President Erdogan.
Commenting on the move, the US leader said: “I have just authorised a doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminium with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish lira, slides rapidly downwards against our very strong dollar.
“Aluminium will now be 20 percent and steel 50 percent. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”
Turkey responded sharply by raising tariffs on a raft of US products.
The decree, which was signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, raised tariffs on alcoholic beverages by 140 percent, on tobacco by 60 percent, and on passenger cars by 120 percent.
Tariffs were also increased on other US goods, including cosmetics, rice and coal.
Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay commented on the move, stating: “Under the principle of reciprocity, the tax rates for imports of certain products have been increased against the US administration’s conscious attacks on our economy.”
President Erdogan also responded defiantly to President Trump’s threats in a speech in the Black Sea city of Trabzon on Sunday.
He said: “I want them to know that we will not surrender. We will keep producing and we will keep increasing exports.
“We will not give in, if you come at us with your dollars then we will find other ways to do business.
“The US is sacrificing its 81-million strong ally Turkey for a pastor with links with terrorists.”
The Turkish leader also stated on Monday that the US was seeking the “stab” Turkey in the back.
Speaking at a news conference in the Turkish capital, Akara, he said: “You act on one side as a strategic partner, but on the other, you fire bullets in the foot of your strategic partner.
“We are together in Nato and then you seek to stab your strategic partner in the back.”