Doha and Ankara have collaborated in the sports field over the past years, especially in preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to attend the Islamic Solidarity Games, set to take place between 9 to 18 August in Konya.
Qatar’s news agency (QNA) reported on Sunday that Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports Mehmet Kasapoglu delivered the invite to the Gulf state’s Deputy Amir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha.
The two officials also discussed ways to enhance and promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of youth and sports.
The sporting event has been taking place every four years since 2005, when it was first held in Saudi Arabia with the participation of 54 Muslim nations. The second edition took place in Iran, the third was held in Indonesia, and the fourth in Azerbaijan.
The games fall under the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF), established in the 1980’s. The objectives of the union include holding the Islamic Solidarity Games and encouraging bilateral visits between sports officials and entities of member countries.
Beyond the Islamic Solidarity Games, Qatar and Turkey have collaborated in the sports field over the past years, especially in preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In December last year, Turkey announced plans to send some 3,000 members of its riot police units to Qatar for the World Cup. Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told the press in Ankara that the decision came following discussions with Qatari officials that have been held since as far back as 2017.
Soylu also noted the number of officers may be increased, with a general coordinator from Turkish law enforcement, more than 40 security advisers, and search dogs to be dispatched to Qatar.
The two countries also have strong business ties. Currently, there are some 711 Turkish companies operating in Qatar as bilateral trade hits billions of dollars. As countries with shared cultural and Islamic values, they also cooperate in the field of culture and education.
The countries’ bilateral investments are expected to witness growth in the coming years, with Qatar and Turkey having major mutual investments.
Speaking to Doha News in March, Burak Daglıoglu, President of the Turkish Presidency’s Investment Office said that Qatar Holding has a 42% stake in one of Istanbul’s largest shopping malls as Borsa Istanbul, Turkey’s largest stock exchange, holds a 10% stake by The Qatar Investment Authority.
Daglıoglu noted that Qatar has some $33.2 billion of foreign direct investments in Turkey, making it the second-largest single investor in the country.
Meanwhile, trade volume between the two countries increased by 57% in 2018, compared to 2017, and reached a level of USD 1.4 billion. Currently, it sits at some $1.6-to-$1.8 billion, according to the official.
There are some 711 Turkish companies operating in Qatar as bilateral trade hits billions of dollars.
Diplomatically, Doha and Ankara have cooperated on a number of global issues.
Shortly after the Taliban takeover of Kabul on 15 August, 2021, the two countries sent technical teams to repair the Afghan capital’s airport. The Hamid Karzai International Airport was up and running by early September for civilian flights.
The two countries have been holding talks with the Taliban-led government over running Afghanistan’s airport.