Between countries, diplomatic relations carry a cardinal importance. National interests are protected through peaceful methods and diplomacy. Diplomacy, which is often defined as “the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of states”, is the employment of tact to find mutually acceptable solutions to common challenges and issues facing nations.
However, relations between some countries go beyond diplomacy. Let me elaborate on this with an example from the recent, most bloody coup attempt in Turkey’s history.
The night connecting July 15 to 16 was the longest, darkest and the most troublesome night in Turkish history. The hours following the coup attempt, which was set in motion with the bridges on the Bosporus being blocked off at 10pm, were highly critical. Any response that would be made in those hours was doubtlessly very crucial. By then, whether the coup plotters would succeed or not was still uncertain and Turkish government was in dire need of support.
However, the Western countries preferred remaining silent until the morning hours, when it became apparent that the treacherous coup attempt had been foiled. That night, very few countries conveyed messages that vehemently condemned the coup and expressed complete support to the government and the people of Turkey. Among these countries, one of them in particular adopted a brave and sincere stance. That country was our friend and brother, Qatar.
The Emir of Qatar, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, was the first leader to call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In fact, Erdogan spoke highly of the messages of support the Emir had issued since the first hours of the coup attempt, expressing his gratitude with the statement: “For the Turkish people, who thwarted this large-scale and atrocious coup attempt and stopped the bloodthirsty coup plotters by risking their lives, this support was of particular importance.”
In an interview to the French News Agency AFP, Rice University’s Kristian Coates Ulrichsen pointed to the significance of Qatar’s support as follows:
“It (Qatar’s statement of its support for the Turkish government) was a significant show of political support at a time when the situation in Turkey was still highly uncertain. And it contrasted sharply with the lukewarm statements that came out of Western capitals, both at the time and in the weeks since the attempted coup.”
Support to Turkey was also underlined by a number of high-level officials of the Qatari government.
HE the Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, emphasised that Qatar is a true friend of Turkey. He stated that the Turkey-Qatar relations would grow closer and ensured the continuous support of his country to Ankara on all forums. Qatar’s ambassador to Ankara, Salem Mubarak Shafi Salem al-Shafi, attended an emergency session held in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which was targeted by the coup plotters.
These developments are indeed very important for Turkey. By supporting Turkey in hard times, Qatar clearly proved that it is a genuine friend of Turkey. The high-level strategic co-operation agreements in various sectors recently co-signed by both countries are a few examples of this friendship.
The Turkish state and people are immensely grateful to Qatar and will always remember its support.
Both countries share a common vision and strategy in bilateral as well as regional matters. The nature of the relationship between the two countries is quite striking – it is not stagnant or unstable; on the contrary, it is quite dynamic and ever growing.
Qatar’s high capital and financial potential and Turkey’s experience, background, infrastructure, human capital, agricultural and industrial production are in perfect harmony. The volume of trade between the two countries has been rising steadily. There is a fast-growing co-operation in the sectors of energy, finance, investment, construction, infrastructure, real estate, education, agriculture, maritime, science and technology. The Turkish government provides incentive and support to those Qatari companies that wish to invest in the country.
At the root of the brotherhood and unity between these two countries lie mutual spiritual values. Both countries pursue altruistic, benevolent, conciliatory, compassionate and peaceful policies and do not get stuck in the stern, loveless and apathetic world of realpolitik. Both seek diplomatic, conciliatory and amicable solutions to deep-seated problems of the Middle East instead of war, conflict and hatred. As a result of this wonderful unity and co-operation, both countries set an example for the entire world of Islam as great and influential international actors.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Gulf Times: