Qatar News Agency's Interview With Ambassador Ahmet Demirok
Two Turkish officials for "QNA": The high-level Qatari participation in the inauguration ceremony for Erdogan, is a strong signal of cooperation between the two countries.
Turkey will enter on Thursday a new phase in its modern history through the receipt of H.E Recep Tayyip Erdogan his duties officially, after he won the presidential election held on the 10thof August, which was characterized by transparency and strengthened the democratic process in a country playing natural, positive and effective role whether in the internal construction of its multi-politically, economically, socially and cultural fields, or in the framework of regional and international relations; and in this context, the cooperation between the State of Qatar and Turkey has been strengthened in several fields.
H.E Mr. Ahmet Demirok, Turkish Ambassador to the state of Qatar, said to QNA that his country and the State of Qatar are seeking to strengthen the economic and cultural relations, expecting Qatar to be the second largest investor in Turkey. He also expressed his happiness with the participation of high-level Qatari delegation in the ceremony, and considered that Qatari participation at this level represents a strong sign of ongoing cooperation and fraternity between the two brotherly countries, pointing to the participation of delegations from 60 countries, including 14 Presidents and 8 Prime Ministers in this Turkishcelebration.
Mr. Yassin Aktay, Vice President of the Justice and Development Party, in a telephone statements to Qatar News Agency said that the party, whose its candidate H.E Erdogan has won in presidential election, will hold a conference so that 4400 member will vote to support Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu to take over the presidency of the party, and then the presidency will be officially transmitted on Thursday from the outgoing president, Abdullah Gul, to elected president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It is noteworthy that the Turkish Supreme Committee for Elections officially declared the victory of the H.E Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the presidential elections by obtaining 51.79 percent of the votes. And through this victory inthe presidential election, Erdogan will be the 12thPresident of Turkey, after the elections were conducted directly from the Turkish people for the first time.
The Vice President of the Justice and Development Party, Mr. Yassin Aktay, in the his statements to QNA about Qatari- Turkish relationships, he stressed that the relations between the two countries is characterized by a high level of cooperation and understanding, and there is mutual trust between the two countries, also playing positive roles in the solving the problems of the Middle East, and seek to raise the level of respect for human rights and peoples' rights and democracy.
He added: "the State of Qatar and Turkey are seeking unity for Islamic Nation" and that the leaderships of the two countries are striving to secure Middle East peace, reconciliation and stability, and are keen to support human rights in the Middle East and for the Islamic world to be stable and strong, pointing to the seriousness of the crisis in the region.
In a question about the President's policy towards the Gulf region, Mr. Aktay said “Erdogan gives priority to Turkey's relationship with the Gulf countries and Arab and Islamic world "adding that" there is a crisis in the Islamic world, where some countries are looking only for its own interests despite the fact that it will cause violations of human rights and the values of Islam”.
Mr. Yassin said thatErdogan’slocal priority is raising the level of the democratic process and solving the Kurdish crisis, pointing out that efforts in this field began a year and half. In addition to raising the level of the country to a strong regional one, and fighting corruption.
And about Turkey's policy towards the Middle East, he said that the policy of Erdogan will continue toward the crises Middle East, including the crises in Iraq and Syria, pointing out that there are many crises in the Middle East, and Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu, who is scheduled to be assigned by Erdogan as next Prime Minister, will play a strong and excellent role in his new position.
On Turkey's efforts to join the European Union, he added "Ankara will continue to strive to join the European Union, but that does not mean denial of the other States, Turkey is looking for its interests in the whole world. There are crises in Europe now, therefore, the path of Turkey's accession to the European Union is not given the interest now, and we see that joining the European Union does not mean enrollment in Europe, but serves the interests of Turkey, and helps Ankara to be more powerful”.
And his message directed to the Europeans, said “The Europeans have shown in dealing with some issues related to Muslims, in addition to the situation in Gaza and Egypt, that they are not honest in the interest of democracy and human rights, they only care about their own interests, and do not care about the values of democracy and human rights they are talking about, also they do not care about the democratic development in the Middle East”.
H.E Mr. Ahmet Demirok, Turkish Ambassador to the state of Qatar, said: “a high-level Qatari delegation will attend the ceremony, and we are happy to receive the high level delegation again in Turkey, and that his presence at the highest level is a strong sign of brotherhood and cooperation between our two countries”.
On the cooperation between Turkey and Qatar in international forums such as the United Nations and the OIC, and the extent of the success of this cooperation, especially in the current crisis of Middle East, H.E Demirok said “Turkey and Qatar strive to find solutions to the challenges in the Middle East. They are two countries who have historical and cultural relations to all sides in conflict areas. So, they can easily play a mediative role in those regional conflicts. Also, there are some international organizations that both countries are members such as UN and OIC. Turkey and Qatar can make joint efforts in those global forums to create awareness among the other member states about the problems of the region and encourage them to find possible solutions. So, these global organizations can be used by our brotherly countries as suitable forums to create a common understanding of the region at the international level, as well as encouraging the world to provide humanitarian and development aid and to spare no sacrifice for reconstruction efforts to those in need”.
And on the economic relations between the State of Qatar and Turkey, and the size of mutual investments between the two countries during the current fiscal year 2013-2014, and percentage of expected growth in the next year, the Turkish Ambassador said: “Economic relations between Turkey and Qatar are intensifying. There are real opportunities for Turkish firms in Qatar and for Qatari companies in Turkey. In 2013-2014, Commercial Bank of Qatar purchased majority share of “Alternatif Bank” of Turkey for almost 450 million USD. Turkish construction companies operating in Qatar signed contracts amounting to 321 million USD in 2013 and 2,7 billion USD in 2014 so far”. He added that “even though these figures indicate a positive dynamic, we hope to see more. Turkey is a growing, profitable market with sound financial capabilities. Thus we expect to see more Qatari capital and investments in Turkey. For example the ongoing negotiations over the construction of new units in Afsin-Elbistan Power Plant by Qatar. If the negotiations were successful, Qatar will be the second biggest foreign investor in Turkey”.
In response to a question about the role of the MOU that was signed by the Qatar Investment Authority and the Turkish Agency in supporting and encouraging investment and bilateral trade between Qatar and Turkey, H.E explained that “This agreement was mainly on increasing bilateral investments. Regarding bilateral trade, tide is upwards, yet there is still much to do. In 2013 trade volume was 769 million USD which is not reflecting the real potential. There are many goods and commodities that can be traded between our countries. Economic relations are not separate from social bonds and human-to-human contacts. Thus we encourage Turkish and Qatari business circles to get to know more of each other through business forums. I also believe that, with more Qataris visiting Turkey each year, trade figures will keep increasing”.
And on the cultural relations programs that the Turkish Embassy in Doha organized or intending to organize, the Turkish Ambassador said: “The excellent political relations and growing economic relations between our brotherly countries will further consolidate ties at grassroots level”. He added that “Turkish culture attracts a growing deal of attention in Qatar and more Qataris are visiting Turkey every year. In April, we held in cooperation with Katara the first Turkish festival in Doha. Throughout the festival, we tried to leave a notable impression of historical and modern aspects of Turkish culture by displaying a small but an effective part it. Turkish festival attracted more than 33 thousand visitors from various nationalities who came to explore the Anatolian civilization and enjoy traditional Turkish music and dances. We believe that the festival has strengthened ties between Turkish and Qatari people”.
At the end of his statements, H.E Ahmet Demirok, Turkish Ambassador in Doha, stressed on the importance of strengthening this cooperation through the establishment of cultural institutions, “we wish to open up a Cultural Center in Doha that will boost our relations in the cultural field, where this center will play a key role in establishing cultural relations and hold further cultural events in Qatar”.