‘We will never forget Turkey’s friendship,’ Qatari princess says
İpek Yezdani - DOHA
Qatar, which is facing a large diplomatic blockade from a collection of Arab countries, will always remember Turkey’s support during these difficult times, Sheikha al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the sister of Qatar’s ruling emir, has told the Hürriyet Daily News.
“We will never forget the friendship of Turkey and the Turkish people,” the princess said during an interview on June 12 on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of an exhibition.
Turkey, along with Iran, immediately sent food to Qatar after several countries led by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain decided to impose an embargo on the gas-rich country on allegations that it has been “supporting terrorist groups.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he had never witnessed Doha supporting terrorism, adding Turkey “will continue to give all kinds of support to Qatar.”
“We will not abandon our Qatari brothers,” Erdoğan told members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at a fast-breaking meal in Istanbul on June 9.
“Relations between Qatar and Turkey have always been good. We have a very beautiful Turkish community here in Qatar,” said the princess.
The princess is known as a dedicated art-lover and is the head of the Qatar Museums Authority, which has a $1 billion annual budget.
She is the “queen of the art world,” according to Forbes magazine.
Meryem Ahmed, one of the artists whose works are exhibited at the Fire Station, said she has worked at a show in the northwestern Turkish province of Bursa.
Hamdi Güneş, a contractor who leads one of the companies that is constructing a subway in Doha, told the Daily News that his firm had been receiving demands for help from local and international companies in bringing in equipment to the country since the start of the blockade.
The metro is a leading infrastructure project for the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Doha.
The key to sectors are construction and food, he said.
“Thus Turkey has turned into a Plan A from Plan B in these two sectors for Qatar,” he said.
Qatari businessman Khalid al-Yazeedi works at Qatar Petroleum, the largest oil company in the country. He says his colleagues will consider Turkey more in investment plans following the current crisis with other Gulf countries.
“Gulf countries are not telling the truth and are trying to isolate Qatar with fake accusations,” he said.
“I know that business people, who want to develop their businesses, are now thinking of Turkey. They are turning their face to Turkey,” he said.