Analyzing and forecasting the Gulf Cooperation Council's geopolitical environment

Why Are Qatari-Turkish Relations Unique?

By Bertrand Viala
January 10, 2017

One day before the December 19 assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in an Ankara art gallery, Turkish and Qatari officials held the second meeting of the Qatar-Turkish Supreme Strategic Committee in the Black Sea coastal city of Trabzon. This meeting, held under the auspices of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, ended with officials from both countries signing memoranda of understanding, declarations, agreements, and action plans addressing a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, communication, culture, education, finance, and sports.

The meeting demonstrates how the Ankara-Doha partnership has grown increasingly sound, and, at this point, should perhaps be labeled an alliance.  Analysts, diplomats, and observers of the Middle East are ever more aware of the deepening of Qatari-Turkish relations. But what is this really all about?

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*Bertrand Viala is an advisor at Gulf State Analytics. Based in the United Arab Emirates, Viala, who started his career at the French Ministry of Defense, has over 15 years of continuous research experience in Turkey and the Middle East. An expert in competitive intelligence, he has worked as the regional director of the French strategic intelligence firm Serenus Conseil (Amarante Group), after which he created his own strategy consulting business in the UAE and Turkey. Viala has also collaborated for two years with Dubai based strategic intelligence firm Five Dimensions, as an expert on Turkish foreign policy and research director on market intelligence projects.  Viala is a regular commentator on Turkish public policy and regional developments on Phoenix TV (China). He publishes regularly in France’s Les Echos newspaper.  A member of the French Academy of Competitive Intelligence (Academie d’Intelligence Economique), the SYNFIE (Syndicat Francais de l’Intelligence Economique), he has also served for two years as elected board member of the French Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates.