Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently traveled to Qatar on his first visit to an Arab country since the start of Ankara’s Syria offensive. Erdogan met Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha Nov. 25 for the fifth meeting of the Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Council.
Ankara celebrated the meeting as a step toward the “institutionalization” of the Qatari-Turkish relationship. Pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP) pundits focused on the potential to form a new military axis on the basis of Turkish military bases in Qatar and the Turkish role as a stabilizer in the region. Yet the seven agreements signed during that meeting were mostly based on Qatari investments and procedural matters of standardization between the two countries. The Turkish press focused on the update of the swap deal between the two countries’ central banks, which raised the limit from $3 billion to $5 billion.