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Qatar to invest $15 billion in Turkish financial markets as Ankara-US relations hit new low

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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On Wednesday (August 15) Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani held talks in Ankara with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and announced a 15bn investment into the Turkish financial markets and banks.

"We stand by the brothers in Turkey that have stood with the issues of the Muslim world and with Qatar," Sheikh Tamim said in a tweet.

"As part of the important talks that I held in Ankara on Friday with His Excellency President Erdogan, we announced a $15bn deposit package and investment projects in the country, which has a strong and solid productive economy."

Turkey has said it is willing to speak with the US to resolve an ongoing dispute between the two NATO allies. Speaking to a group of foreign ambassadors in Ankara on Wednesday evening, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "Despite everything, we are ready to talk about everything to solve the existing problems as equal partners," he said. "I speak openly but only on one condition - no threatening, no dictating."

Meanwhile, in a reference to the attempted takeover two years ago, Fahrettin Altun, communications director at the Turkish presidency, tweeted that Turkey was "fending off this economic coup attempt".

In a reciprocal move to American restrictions, Turkey announced the doubling of tariffs on US goods including cars, alcohol, tobacco, rice, coal and cosmetics. This following Edogan's call for Turks to boycott US electronic items.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired a new salvo in the growing war of words with the United States on Tuesday (August 14), saying Ankara will boycott all American-made electronic products.

President Erdogan said Turkey would stop procuring US-made iPhones and buy Korean Samsung or Turkish-made Vestel products instead. "If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere. We have Vestel."

In an opinion piece published in the New York Times on August 10, President Erdogan said Turkey's partnership with US is in jeopardy, warning Ankara could start looking for new allies.

"Unless the United States starts respecting Turkey's sovereignty and proves that it understands the dangers that our nation faces, our partnership could be in jeopardy," he wrote, adding: "Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives."

Erdogan told a rally in Bayburt on Friday, Turkey had alternatives "from Iran, to Russia, to China and some European countries".

In a tweet on Friday (August 10), President Donald Trump announced the doubling of the tariffs in new punitive actions against Turkey, saying: "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

Turkish Lira

The lira has lost more than 40 percent this year. It hit a record low after Trump announced he authorized higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, imposing duties of 20 percent on aluminium and 50 percent on steel.

Erdogan says a shadowy "interest rate lobby" and Western credit ratings agencies are attempting to bring down Turkey's economy, appealed to his countrymen's patriotism.

"If there is anyone who has dollars or gold under their pillows, they should go exchange it for liras at our banks. This is a national, domestic battle," he told a rally in Bayburt.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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