November 12, 2019 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1482

3. Joint Military Exercises

November 12, 2019
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1482

As part of the military cooperation between the countries, in recent years their armies have held numerous joint exercises in both Qatar and Turkey, some of them with the participation of additional countries. For example, in September 2015 the Qatari armed forces held the "Victory 2015" exercise with the Turkish armed forces in Doha;[29] in May 2016 the Qatari army participated in the EFES 2016 exercise in Turkey,[30] and the Qatari and Turkish navies held a joint exercise as well;[31] in August 2017 the two countries held the "Iron Shield" exercise in Qatar;[32] in March 2018 Turkish forces participated in the Qatari army's "Lion's Den" exercise;[33] in April 2018 forces from both countries participated the "Sahin 20" joint military exercise in the Gulf; [34] in December 2018 they held the "Al-Khandaq" joint exercise in Turkey,[35] and in February 2019 the Qatari forces participated in an annual exercise in the city of Kars in northeastern Turkey.[36] In late April 2019 Qatar's Border Guard held a joint exercise with the Turkish forces in Qatar.[37] Furthermore, in the same month Turkish air forces participated in the FALCON-21 exercise with Qatari air forces.[38] In June 2019, Qatari air force participated in the 15-day Anatolia Eagle exercise in Turkey.[39]

Qatari troops at the Anatolia Eagle exercise (Source:, July 3, 2019)

Troops taking part in the April 2019 border guard exercise (Source: Al-Raya, Qatar, May 1, 2019)

This Turkish-Qatari joint military activity is based, inter alia, on a military training cooperation signed by the two countries on July 2, 2012, whose stated purpose is to "establish cooperation mechanisms between [Qatar and Turkey] in the field of military training," in the following areas:

"a. Training provided at War Colleges, Gulhane Military Medical Academy and Mapping General Command,

b. Training at those schools subordinate to forces (Military High Schools, Military Academy, Military Health Schools, NCO Vocational Higher School and Branch Schools),

c. Training and education between such military security organizations as gendarmerie, coast guard and border security,

d. Pre-occupational training and task-related courses in training centres,

e. On-the-job training at the units, headquarters and institutions,

f. Cooperation and contact visits among units, headquarters and institutions,

g. Visiting harbours and docking,

h. Exchange of delegations,

i. Invitation of observers to the exercises,

j. Participation in the joint exercises,

k. Exchange of information regarding the improvement of training,

l. Exchange of information on military history, military archives, military museology and military publication,

m. Training in military health,

n. Cooperation in logistic training

o. Peace support, counter-terrorism, humanitarian relief and counter-sea robbery and piracy.

p. Specialization courses (Underwater defence, submarine officer/NCO, 151 class diver etc.),

r. Exchange of personnel."

The agreement, signed by the Turkish and Qatari chiefs-of-staff, is for a period of five years.[40] 

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