November 12, 2019 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1482

4. Meetings Between Senior Military And Defense Officials From Qatar And Turkey

November 12, 2019
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1482

Yet another expression of the close relationship between Turkey and Qatar is the ongoing contacts between their senior military officials. In August 2016, for example, then Turkish prime minister Binali Yıldırım met with Qatari Chief-of-Staff Ghanem bin Shaheen Al-Ghanem in Ankara.[41] During the same visit Al-Ghanem also met with then Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Ishaq.[42] In December 2018, in a symbolic move which demonstrates the close ties between the countries, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar participated in the festivities in honor of Qatar's National Day.[43]

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar attends Qatar's National Day celebrations (Source:, December 18, 2018)

Further evidence of this relationship is the frequent meetings that have taken place over the years between the defense ministers and the chiefs-of-staff of the two countries. For instance, on November 4, 2017, Qatari Defense Minister Khalid Al-Attiyah met with his Turkish counterpart at the time, Nurettin Canikli, to discuss strengthening of military and defense cooperation between the countries as well as the situation in the Gulf.[44] In May 2019, Al-Attiyah met in Qatar with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar,[45] and the two met again in August 2019, this time in Turkey.[46] In September 2019 Al-Attiyah and Qatari Chief-of-Staff Al-Ghanem met with Turkish Chief-of-Staff Yasar Guler to discuss the military relationship between Turkey and Qatar.[47] Akar also met with Al-Ghanem at the Turkish Ministry of Defense on November 6, 2019.[48]

Furthermore, on December 26, 2017, the chiefs-of-staff of Qatar, Turkey, and Sudan held a meeting in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where Turkey has a military base.[49] Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu disclosed that agreements were signed at the meeting pertaining to the security of the Red Sea.[50] Also, in February 2019, the Qatar-Turkey Joint Military High Committee, headed by the countries' respective chiefs-of-staff, held a three-day session in Doha.[51]

2019 meeting of the Qatar-Turkey Joint Military High Committee (Source: Al Sharq, Qatar, February 13, 2019)

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