Skip to main content

Cash-strapped Turkey relies on Qatari investments

In only five years, Qatar has come to account for 15% of all foreign direct investments in Turkey, second only to deep-rooted Dutch investors.
Read in 

Scrambling to draw foreign investors to ease Turkey’s hard currency crunch, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has once again turned to its closest ally, Qatar. The two sides announced a raft of agreements last week, including fresh Qatari acquisitions, with Ankara eager to convey a semblance of renewed foreign capital flows to its crisis-hit economy. Government opponents, who charge that Ankara’s economic bonds with the Gulf monarchy are politically motivated and lack transparency, however, meet Qatar’s investments with suspicion.

The latest deals, announced during Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s Nov. 26 visit to Ankara, include Qatar's purchases of a stake in Istinye Park, one of Turkey’s largest shopping malls, and a 10% share in the Istanbul stock exchange. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development had previously bought the 10% Borsa Istanbul AS stake, but divested it last year, irked by Ankara’s appointment of Hakan Atilla — a Turkish banker who served jail time in the United States for helping Iran evade US sanctions — as the CEO of Borsa Istanbul.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.