Al Sharq Reporter Yara Abu Shaar's Interview With Ambassador Ahmet Demirok

Doha Büyükelçiliği 31.08.2014

"H.E Mr. Ahmet Demirok, Turkish Ambassador in Doha, said in an interview with Al Sharq that the participation of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani in the inauguration ceremony of the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey, reflects the depth of the strategic partnership between Qatar and Turkey and strengthen it, and that the Qatari - Turkish vision are converging to a large extent, pointing out that there is continuous coordination between the leaderships of the two countries.

During the interview, H.E noted the growing role of the State of Qatar globally, and its mediation efforts, including the efforts in releasing the Turkish pilots in Lebanon, and the last of which contributed to the release of the American journalist, Peter Theo Curtis, who was kidnapped in Syria. He added: “Qatar plays a vital and important role, and has its methods in communicating with all groups. This step has granted Qatar more power and enhanced its dynamic role on the world political scene, and we appreciate the role of the Qatari mediation in releasing the Turkish pilots in Lebanon; the world of politics needs such a positive role”.

He pointed out that Qatar and Turkey were among the first countries that helped the people of Gaza in their plight, stressing that the Palestinian have the right to live a decent life, and condemning what he called “the silence of the Muslim world towards the wrong Israeli policies”.

The Turkish ambassador said that his country is keen to make Syria and Iraq enjoy peace and stability, noting that the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis)” organization took advantage of the power vacuum in these two countries to his favor, and that “this type of extremist groups represent a major problem for the region”.

Excellent relations

H.E Demirok praised the Qatari -Turkish relations and prosperous cooperation between the two countries at all levels, saying that: "Qatar and Turkey enjoy excellent relations, and can be considered the closest countries in culture, politics and others. We, at the Turkish Embassy, are aiming to strengthen these relations and push forward the Qatari- Turkish cooperation toward greater prosperity and development as what would be beneficial to the peoples of the two friendly countries”. He added: “At the political level, there is significant cooperation reflected in the intensive mutual visits between the two sides, such as the visit of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani to Turkey on the 15th July, which was followed by the visit of H.E Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Doha on the 25th of the same month. H.H the Emir has visited Turkey three times since he assumed the reins of power in Qatar, as there was a visit to Erdogan, during which the new building of the Turkish Embassy was inaugurated in Doha. All these visits are considered as a clear indication of the depth of the Qatari-Turkish relations”. He stressed that Turkey would like to bring more diversity to the current cooperation between the two countries in all fields, with the focus on trade and investment, pointing out that his country was looking forward to increase the volume of trade in the future , and that both sides are doing their best in order to achieve this. He also added that the main sectors of cooperation that they focus on, are construction, agriculture and health and that Qatar is an important destination for high-profile personalities and Turkish businessmen. "We expect that Qatar will be the first country to be visited by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as there will be a Turkish high-level visits to Qatar, Insha’Allah, and that was confirmed by the presence of His Highness the Emir to the Erdogan’s inauguration ceremony.”

Historical stage

And about the presidential election witnessed by Turkey recently, Demirok said: "This is an important stage in the history of Turkey, where elections were held for the first time by popular vote, where the Turkish community around the world were given the chance to choose the president and cast their votes in the elections. Under the current constitution, the government (which represents the executive power) emerges from the parliamentary majority elected by the people, while the powers of the president are little, but Turkish President Erdogan said recently that he would be an effective president uses all the powers prescribed by the Constitution”.

Civil constitution

On the possibility of making amendments to the current Turkish Constitution, H.E explained: “Turkey is a democratic country, but changing the constitution did not happen because this step requires the approval of two-thirds of the members of the parliament, which is not available yet, but President Erdogan said that one of his top priorities will be to amend the constitution, which requires more work to achieve the consent of a majority of Parliament. From my point of view, Turkey needs today a liberal Democratic civil constitution, other than that which was established by the military government, otherwise the country will not be able to follow the development process.” And continued: "The generation today has a dynamic and open-minded thinking, so it is not appropriate to be governed by a constitution written by the soldiers."

Future Visions

He ruled out the possibility of any changes in Turkish foreign policy in the future, “We do not expect that radical changes in Turkish foreign policy will arise, because both the President and the government are from the same party. Turkey has a specific vision, and we expect that President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu will continue to achieve this vision that peace and stability will prevail in the region. I've been the political adviser to Mr. Davutoglu, and I have close ties with him”.

Consensual Policy

He stressed in this context that the Turkish President Erdogan will adopt consensual policy that embraces all the Turkish people. “Erdogan has become the president of all the Turkish people, and Turkey is a democratic country that allows people to express their opinions and ideas freely, and some of them will like Erdogan’s policies while others will reject it, but the essence of democracy is freedom of expression, and none of any segment of the society shall be excluded. I am very optimistic about the future of Turkey and the ability of the president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan to promote social unity”.

Regional challenges

Ambassador Demirok said that Turkey is surrounded today by several conflicts which is taking place in several neighboring countries, including Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Ukraine, stressing that his country will continue adopting that vision until it will have environment full of peace and stability. He added: "We are keen to strengthen our relationships with neighboring countries, and develop cultural and economic cooperation between us.” And regarding Gaza issue, he pointed that “Qatar and Turkey were the first countries that helped the people of Gaza in this plight”, adding that “once the cease-fire will occur, Turkey will send electricity generation ship and humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip”. He also mentioned that the Turkish foreign minister, Davutoglu, had held more than sixty telephone calls with the leaders of the world; with John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of State, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and a number of Arab foreign ministers, in order to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis in Gaza. He pointed to another challenge facing Turkey on the regional scene, which is the extension of the "ISIS", saying: "Turkey is against such a radical development, and interested in making Syria enjoy the peace, in the shadow of government that includes all members of society, but unfortunately, the Syrian people are currently suffering because of the wrong policies of Bashar al-Assad. The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey is 1.3 million. As for ISIS, the presence of this type of extremist groups represents a major problem for the region. In view of the recent developments, we see that ISIS has taken advantage of the power vacuum in Iraq and Syria to his favor.”


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