April 14, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8695

Dissident Qatari Royal Family Member: Emir Has Turned Qatar Into Colony Of Turkish President Erdogan – Who 'Has Planted His Troops And Weapons On Every Inch Of Qatari Territory'

April 14, 2020
Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 8695

Sheikh Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Thani, a cousin and persistent critic of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, wrote in an article titled "Erdogan Tightens His Grip On Qatar" that the Qatari regime had transformed the country into a Turkish vassal. Fahad claimed that by submitting to the neo-Ottoman yoke of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Qatar was rejecting the legacy of the Arabs' struggle to liberate themselves from Ottoman rule. Erdogan, he warned, would not rest until he had transformed Qatar into Turkey's first colony and had the Qataris speaking Turkish. The article appeared in the Saudi-based Arab News.

It should be noted that Fahad has been a dissident for some time. In 2011, he signed a petition submitted to then-emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani calling for sweeping social, economic, and democratic reforms. His This activity may have been the reason for his brief arrest in 2016.[1]

The following is Al-Thani's article:[2]

Fahad Al-Thani (Source:

"We See Irony At Its Highest With Erdogan's Entering Qatar As If He Were Its Leader, Marginalizing Its Emir And Treating Him Like One Of His Followers"

"I greatly admired the Russian president's smart move when receiving [Turkish President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Kremlin. Surrounding the Turkish president and his delegation were a number of imposing statues depicting Russian victories over the Turks, so that Erdogan would not forget his natural status or exceed his limits.

"We see irony at its highest with Erdogan's entering Qatar as if he were its leader, marginalizing its emir and treating him like one of his followers. The Turkish president was keen to show his power to all media outlets so as to confirm his authority over Qatar, treating it like one of his provinces. He deliberately insulted the Qataris, subjecting them to the same treatment as had been inflicted on him by Putin as if to compensate for the humiliation the Russian had put him through."

Erdogan "Treats The Qataris Not As His Partners And Friends, But As If He Were Their Master And They His Followers"

"Every time Erdogan visits Qatar or summons the emirs of Qatar, I am overwhelmed by a wave of grief, because he treats the Qataris not as his partners and friends, but as if he were their master and they his followers. I have experienced this bitterness first-hand 15 times – the number of summits between Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Erdogan. Each one of the 15 summits has been worse than the one before, as the Turkish president showcases his dominance. He does this in the way he treats Qatar or taxes Qatar to pay for all his losses, compensating for the currency collapses, covering the expenses of his invasions of northern Syria, paying to strengthen his presence in Libya, financing his base in Somalia, buying all his unsalable goods, and contracting with his companies to carry out small and secondary projects for huge sums.

"What is more, he has planted his troops and weapons on every inch of Qatari territory, allowed himself to carry out intelligence operations inside the country and used its territory to test his weapons. The streets of our beloved Doha have turned into playgrounds for Turkish soldiers – and soon for Turkish police officers – swaggering and strutting around with the arrogance of the colonizer, controlling the movements of the unfortunate citizens, most of whom avoid contact with them. The honorable ones have chosen to remain in their homes and neighborhoods so as not to be morally or physically humiliated, especially if they are not fluent in Turkish, which has become a necessity of life unless Qatar is saved from this colonization.

"The humiliation reaches its height when news about Qatar, its decisions and the visit of its emir, are broadcast by the Turkish Anadolu Agency in the form of directives or orders which draw attention to the fact that Qatar's decisions are being made by Ankara.

"How can Erdogan become a friend to the Arabs, if he is obsessed with memories of the Ottoman occupation of the Arab countries?"

How Could The Qatari Leadership Accept The Humiliation Of Erdogan's Neo-Ottoman Policy?

"Any partnership is based on equality and common interests, which is lacking in Qatar's relationship with Turkey. All the agreements signed between Qatar and Turkey give all the benefits to Turkey and only burden Qatar with obligations. The Turks have a historic contempt for the Arabs, so how can they suddenly befriend them? How can Erdogan become a friend to the Arabs, if he is obsessed with memories of the Ottoman occupation of the Arab countries? How can Erdogan become a friend when the bitterness of the great Battle of Al-Wajbah is still stifling his breath? How can Erdogan become a friend to Arabs when he knows only how to take and does not give, and when he does not respect anyone, and does not value unlimited Qatari support?

"Like many Qataris, I wonder how the Qatari leadership accepted this humiliation and this strange dependency, handing over the reins of power to the Turks. We are all wondering: What fatuity is this? What has fate in store for us? Why do we put ourselves at the mercy of our executioners, opponents and haters who tortured and humiliated us in the days of their black colonization? What has become of our dignity to make us succumb to this anomaly? How can we entrust our enemy with our security?

"To tighten Turkey's grip on Qatar, one last thing must be done: To demolish Al-Wajbah Palace,[3] delete this name from all curricula and programs, and then change the national day according to the Turkish mood. Anyone who thinks that Erdogan's dominance has reached its peak is totally wrong, as he is becoming increasingly sinister with every morsel he swallows, asking for more. He will not stop until he is assured that Qatar has become Turkey's first colony. It is only worthy of being a mere Ottoman state, one to be depleted of all of its resources and a foothold for Erdogan in the Gulf."

Qatari Emir Tamim Al-Thani with Erdogan (Source:

"What I am most afraid of is the day when a Qatari asks about his homeland in Turkish (thank God I do not know Turkish and I do not like to hear the language).

"All the Qataris I have talked to share the same concern and the same anger, as we see our pure land tainted with Turkish impressions until it has almost lost its features, invaded by the Turkish language until it has almost lost its identity.

"Brothers and sisters, the holy month of Ramadan is approaching, the month during which we won the Battle of Al-Wajbah in a glorious victory, expelling the Ottomans and defeating the Ottoman governor of Basra who sought to humiliate Qatar.

"We are the descendants and offspring of those great people, infused with the pride and dignity of our ancestors who never succumbed to humiliation and disgrace. May Qatar return to its identity and glory, with tribes and families who love and respect each other and appreciate their historic partnership in protecting this beloved entity and act as a guarantee for our children and grandchildren.

"Qatar is an authentic Arab country and it will never be Turkish, no matter what happens. The so-called Tarek bin Ziyad colonial base[4] will remember the story of the Ottoman governor and reenact what happened to him, for chivalry does not change and brave and noble people do not succumb – they will show that we are symbols of bravery and magnanimity."


[1], January 13, 2016.

[2], March 13, 2020.

[3] The site of the March 1893 battle of Al-Wajbah, where the Qataris successfully besieged an Ottoman garrison and imposed favorable terms on the Ottomans that effectively resulted in the end of Ottoman rule over Qatar. The battle is considered a formative event in Qatari history.

[4] Turkish troops have been deployed at Tarek bin Ziyad base in Qatar since October 2015. See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1482, Turkey-Qatar Relations: From Bilateral Ties To A Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, November 12, 2019

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