Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is embarking on an anticipated tour of the Gulf

The anticipated Gulf tour of Erdogan... Turkish hopes for more investments and stronger relations

Despite not being the first to visit the United Arab Emirates after the settlement of lingering disputes between Ankara and Abu Dhabi, the anticipated Gulf tour by Erdogan holds a lot of hopes for Turkey in terms of further cooperation and strengthening relations. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will embark on a Gulf tour between July 17th and 19th, which will include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar, in order to sign a number of economic agreements and attract more investments to Turkey.

President Erdogan made important statements regarding his Gulf tour on his way back from Lithuania after participating in a NATO summit. He said, “A number of Turkish ministers have previously visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.” He added, “We will make a close visit to enhance all kinds of relations through travel to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates”.

Preparatory visits have been made

Erdogan mentioned that he received briefings from members of his government who had previously visited the Gulf, and he clarified that he will personally have the opportunity to touch the support that will be provided to Turkey during his tour. He further stated, “They themselves said in the meetings that were held before, ‘We are ready to inject serious investments in Turkey.’ We hope to finalize them during this visit, whether these investments will be in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or the United Arab Emirates.”

Erdogan confirmed that communications are ongoing with his Gulf counterparts, noting that all matters will be discussed closely during the anticipated visit.

The Muslim Brotherhood file

One of the most sensitive issues between Turkey and the Gulf countries is the Muslim Brotherhood file. After the recent presidential elections, Ankara also seeks to adopt a new policy characterized by calming down with the countries of the region, prioritizing national interests, and completely ceasing support for the organization.

Turkey is also aiming to tighten measures further in the coming period by closing all organization offices and demanding some of its members to leave its territory. Additionally, it will withdraw nationalities or extradite some wanted individuals to their home countries.

The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to find safe havens away from Ankara, with London and some Asian countries such as Malaysia being the prominent ones.

Hope to fill the investment gap

Due to the aversion of many Western investors resulting from Erdogan’s unorthodox monetary policy, which involves keeping interest rates low at the expense of inflation, the Gulf countries have emerged as competitors to fill the investment gap. This has prompted the Turkish President to seek to enhance relations. As a result, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar provide foreign liquidity – which the Turkish Central Bank is in great need of – through currency swap agreements and direct deposits.

The Turkish government also aims to attract $25 billion worth of investments from Gulf countries through several channels, such as privatization and acquisitions, according to officials.

Erdogan’s recent visit to the UAE

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the United Arab Emirates from February 14th to 15th, 2022, for the first time in nearly a decade. The visit was considered a sign of thawing relations between the two countries, which had been tense in recent years due to disputes over various issues, including the Syrian civil war and the Libyan civil war.

During the visit, Erdogan and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan signed several agreements, including a framework agreement for defense cooperation, a memorandum of understanding on economic cooperation, and an intent letter regarding energy cooperation. The two leaders also discussed ways to enhance cooperation in other areas such as tourism, culture, and education.

The visit was seen as a significant step forward in improving relations between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, and it is hoped that the countries will be able to build on the momentum of this visit and strengthen their relations in the coming years.

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