Qatar pledges to invest billions in Turkey amid lira currency crisis

The Turkish lira has lost nearly 40% of its value this year due to economic issues.

  • The Qatari government has agreed to invest billions of dollars to help the Turkish economy.
  • The Turkish lira has lost nearly 40% of its value this year due to economic issues.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani attended the signing ceremony between the two nations at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey, on the 26th of November, 2020. (Emin Sansar / AA)

Qatar has inked new investment deals worth billions of dollars for the Turkish economy.

Among the things Doha has purchased are a luxury mall and a big chunk of shares in the Borsa Istanbul stock exchange.

According to the Middle East Eye, the Qatari Investment Authority signed the purchasing deals as part of a bilateral trip by the Qatari Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to Ankara on Thursday.

He met the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to join the 6th strategic summit between the two states.

Among the investments, Qatar will acquire a 10% shareholding in the Borsa Istanbul from Turkey Wealth Fund, which controls more than 90% of the total shares. 

Doha will also buy 42% of İstinye Park, a shopping mall in İstanbul, for a reported $1 billion from Turkey’s Dogus Holding, which owns the remaining 58 percent stake. 

Located on “Qatar Street,” İstinye Park is one of Turkey’s biggest and most explored malls, with around 300 stores and a car park with space for 3,200 vehicles. 

The Qatari government will also contribute investment in the Golden Horn Marina project in İstanbul. The sum of the investment was not specified.

Doha, in a separate deal, also made official terminal operating company QTerminals’ purchase of Antalya’s Port Akdeniz in a $140m agreement signed with Global Ports Holding (GPH).

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Currency crisis
Photo of Turkish Lira banknotes in different denominations. (Diego Cupolo/NurPhoto via Getty Images))

The new investments come as the Turkish economy suffers a currency crisis. The Turkish lira has lost nearly 40% of its value this year due to depleted foreign reserves and unorthodox monetary policies. 

A senior Turkish official said that the two allies’ bilateral ties were standing on a strong foundation. Both sides were always looking for ways to deepen cooperation.

Turkish soldiers at their military base in Doha, Qatar, on the 23rd of June, 2017. (Qatar News Agency/Handout via REUTERS)

Qatar and Turkey are close allies, a relationship forged over the years through joint military operations in Libya and Somalia, and a united front against Doha’s Gulf neighbors. Ankara has a vital military base in the emirate.

Qatar already has investments in Turkey worth tens of billions of dollars from the entertainment sector to defense companies.

Turkey’s exports to Qatar have jumped three times in the last five years, as bilateral trade between the two countries reached up to $2.24 billion in 2019.

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