The recent fracturing of Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) relations has generated renewed impetus to explain and understand relations in the MENA region. In particular, it has cast a timely light over the Qatari-Turkish alliance, which has hitherto remained resilient in the face of perceived marginalisation at the hands of ‘The Quartet’ countries that include Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”).

Although tight-lipped in the immediate aftermath of the Arab nations’ dispute, Erdoğan eventually showed his hand – with Turkey’s President betting all his chips on Qatar. A closer look at relations between these countries reveals where they are strongest and who is leveraging them out on behalf of the power players.

This analysis looks at the major commercial ventures between Turkey and Qatar’s elite as well as the politically exposed middlemen involved.

Impact

  • The Qatari-Turkish political relationship is proving durable in the face of partisan regional politics, following sanctions placed on Qatar by GCC countries in June 2017.
  • Besides the warm political relations between Turkey and Qatar, there are noteworthy commercial ventures under the surface of their dealings in strategic industries, which merit closer review.
  • It is the case that commercial opportunities are inextricably bound to the political sphere of influence, which puts them at greater risk during times of heightened political uncertainty.