Turkish forces to replace US in Qatar military base

Qatar recently signed an agreement with Turkey to set up a naval base, a plan that will include a training center for maritime patrols and monitoring. Actually, two bases are concerned by the 2022 military plan elaborated by the Turkish ministry of Defense.

Turkish forces to replace US in Qatar military base

Turkey's Defence minister Nurettin Canikli visits Turkish military base in Doha as part of official visit to Qatar (Picture source: Twitter)

Beside those two bases in Qatar, 60,000 Turkish soldiers will be deployed across four military bases abroad, a part of which on the two above mentioned bases. The wider and more ambitious security vision shaped by Turkey explains the extension of the country’s foreign policy in the Middle East, with obvious economical aspects.

So far, Qatar is facing a new situation: Washington started to abandon Doha after the June 2017 political rift. Observers figured out that the Americans would move their al-Udaid Base in Doha to another country. This major move has been regarded as an opportunity for Turkey to restore its military presence in the region at the expense of others. The real justification is to secure economic and investment interests for Turkish companies.

The significance of the Turkish bases in Qatar depends on the developments in the region. When Qatar announced that it has intentions to host World Cup 2022, Turkey announced its military and security presence in Qatar accordingly since 2015. Military, regional security and football: interesting connection, isn’t it?

American military experts believe that the US could have already begun to abandon Qatar, close its Air Force base, and started thinking of moving to other countries in the Middle East region: Jordan, Oman or the UAE, at first glance.

The reinforcement of the Turkish army in Qatar is regarded as a means to fill the vacuum created by the U.S. army when Washington takes the decision to leave the base. That is why the U.S. Army built a military base in the Negev desert last year.

As Turkey had helped the US to expand and strengthen the al-Udaid base, this would facilitate the Turkish mission to replace the Americans when they leave. Turkey is readying to take over and take the lead in Qatar.

The main reason behind Turkish military deployment in Qatar is to undertake future projects, as there are thirty Turkish companies carrying out projects in Doha in the construction sector. Because both Ankara and Doha have been mutually isolated, they are speeding up their bilateral relations, mainly in economic fields. Qatar already announced that Turkish commercial corporations will be given priority for businesses during the World Cup. Hence the firm intention of Turkey to protect these future massive investments.

Never has the Turkish influence in the region been so important since its defeat in World War 1 and the dismantling of the Ottoman empire.


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