Erdoğan Toprak, the chief adviser to the chairman of the People’s Republican Party (CHP) and the parliamentary deputy from the province of Istanbul, prepared a report on the issue of Qatari investments, which, in recent years, have been increasingly discussed throughout Turkey.
According to the Turkish Ministry of Economy, from 2002 to March 2017, Qatar made direct investments in Turkey in the amount of $1.5 billion. The ministry claims that Qatar is the country’s 19th largest investor.
Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Tovar al-Kuwari, during an exhibition held in April in the capital of Qatar, Doha, said that Qatari investments in Turkey actually amounted to $18 billion. Al-Kuwari also claimed that Qatar is the second-largest investor in Turkey.
Quite obviously, the data from the Turkish Ministry and the Qatari representative differ significantly. According to the Turkish and Qatari authorities, this discrepancy is due to the difference in the methods used to calculate the data.
WHAT INVESTMENTS DOES QATAR HAVE IN TURKEY?
According to information from the Turkish media, Qatar took its first steps into Turkey’s banking sector with Abank. After that, the National Bank of Qatar acquired Finansbank.
In 2013, the Commercial Bank of Qatar bought 71% of the shares of Abank for $460 million, and at the end of 2016, paid an additional $224 million, becoming the full owner. The National Bank of Qatar, having strengthened its position by investing in the Middle East and Africa, acquired a 99.81% stake in Finansbank for €2.75 billion.
The sale of Digitürk has also been the subject of lengthy discussions in Turkish society. The sale was completed in 2016 after the transfer to the Savings and Deposit Insurance Fund. It was alleged that the Digitürk digital platform was sold to the Qatari media holding beIN, but the exact amount of the deal was never made public. According to rumors, it was likely between $1 and $1.4 billion. In addition, Qatar owns 30.7% of the shares in the Boyner retail chain and is a partner of the major automaker BMC.
Erdogan Toprak, an MP from the Turkish parliament in Istanbul, said that the Emir of Qatar, during his visit to the US and meeting with President Trump, discussed the withdrawal of his country’s investment from Turkey, after which the corresponding process began.
In his report, Toprak pointed out that the volume of Qatari investments in the financial, banking, tourism, information and other sectors of the Turkish economy amounts to around $20 billion. At the same time, according to the deputy, Turkish contractors are implementing projects in Qatar with a total value of around $15 billion.
VOLKSWAGEN PROVIDED BENEFITS
The report, in particular, notes: “Qatar’s main investments in Turkey are QNB Finansbank, the beİN Media holding, which provides broadcasting of the Digitürk-Lig TV platform and BMC, a pallet and pallet production plant. Turkish contractors carry out projects totaling $15 billion in Qatar. Among them is the construction of huge stadiums, the airport and other infrastructure projects in anticipation of the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
The Emir of Qatar gave President Erdogan an ultra-luxury VIP plane worth $ 500 million. In addition, Qatar, which acquired a 17% stake in the German automaker Volkswagen, plays a significant role in negotiations between Erdogan and Volkswagen’s management for the construction of a new plant in Turkey, and is bidding on issues such as providing Volkswagen with benefits, making investments and meeting the company’s obligations.”
Toprak also noted that during the meeting with Trump, the American side warned Qatar against supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
QATAR WITHDRAWS INVESTMENTS FROM TURKEY
Toprak’s report also contains an analysis of Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. In particular, the document notes: “The Turkish authorities, who are turning a blind eye to Qatar’s exploration of gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean, together with an American company licensed by the Greek Cypriots in the exclusive economic zone, will soon notice Qatar’s distance from Turkey both in the economic and in political terms. The American and Arab media emphasized that during the meeting of Trump with the Emir of Qatar at the White House, which took place at the invitation of the American President, the United States warned They said that Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Sani, began withdrawing investments from Turkey and this process will accelerate in the near future. In turn, the Egyptian newspaper Youm7 writes that the emir secretly visited Turkey and Iran after negotiations with Trump, where he announced the requirements of the US Trump said from the emir that Qatar will develop its petrodollar funds in the amount of over 300 billion dollars.”