Sheikh Tamim was the first leader to congratulate Erdogan on his re-election, posting a tweet to his ‘brother’ moments before the final results were announced.
Qatar’s Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani attended the inauguration ceremony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Saturday following his re-election last week.
Sheikh Khalifa attended the event on behalf of his brother, Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s state news agency (QNA) reported.
QNA said Sheikh Khalifa “conveyed the greetings and congratulations” of Amir Tamim to Erdogan, describing the Turkish leader as “his brother”.
Held at the presidential complex, the ceremony witnessed a high-level attendance of officials from more than 80 countries, including 21 heads of state and 13 prime ministers, Turkiye’s Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.
Hours earlier, President Erdogan took the oath as Turkiye’s new president following his victory in the presidential race. On 28 May, Erdogan secured a third term after gaining 52.18% of votes against candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu – the leader of the opposition bloc and Republican People’s Party (CHP).
“I, as president, swear upon my honour and integrity before the great Turkish nation and history to safeguard the existence and independence of the state,” Erdogan said during the ceremony.
President Erdogan added that the country “will embrace all 85 million people” regardless of their political stances, origins or sect.
During his inauguration, Erdogan announced a new cabinet, replacing Turkiye’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, with Hakan Fidan, head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT)
Erdogan also named Cevdet Yilmaz as vice president, following his stint as the chairman of the Turkish Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission since November 2020.
Sheikh Tamim was the first leader to congratulate Erdogan on his re-election, posting a tweet to his “brother” moments before the final results were announced.
The message from the Qatari leader was widely seen as an indication of the strong relations between the two states.
“My dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan, congratulations on your victory, and I wish you success in your new term, and that you achieve in it what the brotherly Turkish people aspire to in terms of progress and prosperity, and for the strong relations of our two countries to further development and growth,” the Qatari leader said in a tweet at the time.
Ties between Qatar and Turkiye have witnessed major growth since Erdogan came to office in 2014 as the country’s first directly elected president. When Erdogan assumed power, the Turkish leader chose Qatar as the first Arab country for an official state visit.
However, the strength of relations has appeared to be highlighted on various challenging occasions.
In July of 2016, Sheikh Tamim was the first leader to call Erdogan during a failed coup attempt that killed hundreds in Turkiye and sent shockwaves across the world. Qatar was also the first Arab country to condemn the coup attempt.
The following year, Qatar was subjected to an illegal air, land and sea blockade by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.
The quartet severed diplomatic ties with Qatar when the Gulf state heavily depended on imports. In response, Turkiye almost immediately sent food, water and medicine to Qatar.
In December 2019, Qatar and Turkiye inaugurated the new headquarters of the Turkish-Qatari joint forces in the Gulf state, the Khalid Ibn Al-Walid Base. At least 5,000 troops are stationed at the military post.
At the time, Erdogan described the military base as “the symbol of brotherhood, friendship, solidarity and sincerity”.
More recently in February, Sheikh Tamim ordered the launch of an air bridge after Turkiye and Syria were struck with the worst earthquakes to hit the area in a century.
More than 120 personnel of the Qatar International Search and Rescue Group of the Internal Security Force – Lekhwiya – were dispatched to assist with response efforts as the death toll reached 50,000.
A week later, Qatar’s amir met with President Erdogan in Istanbul as the first leader to visit Turkiye following the deadly earthquakes.