Al Watan Reporter Ahmed El Bayoumi's Interview With Ambassador Ahmet Demirok
HE the Turkish Ambassador to Doha Ahmet Demirok said that the relations between Qatar and Turkey are characterized by sturdiness and privacy in various fields; in addition to the convergence of views and opinions which stressed these strong and deep relations. He pointed out that the mutual visits in various levels between the two countries serves the interests of both countries.
He said in an interview for Al Watan: The common policies between the two countries towards many regional and international political issues are identical, which is to achieve the safety and security for all the regional countries.
He added that the visit of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir was interested and appreciated, it was also constructive and fruitful. HH works within a high political perspective; it is also confirmed on the nature of privacy in the Turkish - Qatari cooperation relations since there is a convergence of views between the two leaderships and common views about various regional situations; besides this visit set foundations and new rules to strengthen the bilateral relations; marking that the visits between the two countries does not cut throughout the year at significant and important levels.
He noted that the five Turkish delegations that visited Doha recently, represented different sectors in the fields of economy, culture and education, especially that Turkey has great commercial and investment potentials in various fields. The size of the Turkish trade balance with Qatar is 12 billion dollars and there is an agreement to set up a Qatari - Turkish power plant project in southern Turkey; there is also the Turkish cultural exhibition which will be held in Doha next April; in addition to investment economic agreements as Turkey is considered as a major investment market.
The Turkish Ambassador clarified that there are many aspects for Qatari - Turkish cooperation including the cultural, parliamentary, political, economic and others. Qatar is an important country for us as well as Turkey is an important country for Qatar. There is an ongoing dialogue between us, especially in the political process in order to work on establishing the rules of regional security and stability. In this context, His Excellency, Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid Al-Attiyah visited Turkey six times since he took over the Foreign Affairs portfolio within four months, which reflects the discriminate and privacy fact of relations. There is a common policy between the two countries on many political issues on the regional and international levels.
He pointed out that the views between Ankara and Doha are compatible in many files, for example, the Syrian, Egyptian, Tunisian and Palestinian; we try together to alleviate the suffering of all the peoples of the Arab and Islamic region. There is also a similarity in the vision about the human and technological investment between the two brotherly countries.
About the Turkish Prime Minister visits to Iran and Iraq, he said: We, in Turkey, are working to open new pages of constructive relations with everyone in the region, and as a Muslim country believes in freedom and democracy, we are working to alleviate the suffering of the peoples of these countries and promote the policy of good neighborliness through constructive and purposeful dialogue, for the higher interests of our countries and peoples; and we are continuing in this path. He continued: We are keen on these relations, especially that Iran is an important part of the region and we hope that Iran will play an active role to achieve peace and security in the region and to finalize the Syrian crisis. The second point which is important to us is the convergence in relations with Iran, it forms for us an important outlet for the power and gas supply hence we are interested in promoting the relations, especially that Turkey is the gateway to communicate with the European Union.
About the Syrian crisis, Demirok emphasized that Turkey seeks to bring peace to the Middle East by dialogue. Before the Syrian crisis we were moving fast toward solving many problems and crises, but the Syrian crisis disrupted the path of this fast moving. Bashar Al Assad, who committed most terrible massacres against his people, blocked the progress toward this goal in the region. We hope the Syrian crisis to be solved so that we can achieve the desired goals and work to achieve the people’s stability in the region. The Syrian people became in total refugees because of the regime's policy, there are 700,000 Syrian refugees just in Turkey, in addition to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries and in Europe which became an issue of concern and disruptive to work. When the Syrian crisis is finished, we will continue immediately the policy to work for regional reform and building peace and security.
He stressed that Turkey will not retreat from its support for the Palestinian issue, it is an Arab and Muslim fundamental issue, and Turkey raises its voice always towards Jerusalem and the Palestinian issue in general, at a time the voices of others decrease. We are trying to get out the Palestinian people from their ordeal as a result of the occupation and we are seeking in all regional and international means to solve the peace issue. Jerusalem is the land of peace and from our point of view it cannot be the capital of Israel.
About Turkey's accession to the European Union, he said that sooner or later Turkey will access the Union due to its strategic location and its effective role regionally and internationally. Turkey has a high democratic and reformist level and its economic and political situation is much better than some European countries, therefore they, in the European Union, need us as we have huge potentials in various fields of economics, politics, human rights and reforms and all the elements of a modern, civilized state.