Turkey, Gulf states forge closer ties

Alliances are fruitful. However self-centered policies with the purpose of creating wealth and prosperity only for one country lead to eventual failures for the respective countries. Such countries base their plans on failures of others and do not realize that the poverty of other nations will ultimately affect them as well. This is the reason why the world is constantly struggling with economic crises despite the abundant sources of our planet.

Islamic countries should be the pioneers of such fruitful alliances. Our religion is the religion of unity and brotherhood and this is why Muslims know the best how unity is the only way to success as well as physical and spiritual well-being. That’s why for years now, we have been urging Muslim countries to unite and join their forces. The recent collaborations and investments between Muslim countries herald the beginnings of this unity.

On March 21-22, Ankara opened its doors to an important guest. 88-year-old Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, met with Turkish President Erdogan, Prime Minister Yıldırım and Parliament Chairman in a two-day visit. During the meetings, the officers of the two countries gave each other ‘Order of State of Republic of Turkey’ and ‘Order of Mubarak Al Kabeer’, the two highest orders of Turkey and Kuwait, respectively. Set in a friendly atmosphere, the Kuwait Amir also made a generous donation for our Syrian guests, before the parties signed various cooperation deals on defense, industry, tourism and Islam.

This meeting was in fact only the latest one in a series of meetings that took place between Turkey and Gulf Countries, which started early 2017. Only one month earlier, President Erdogan had visited Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and was warmly welcomed by the leaders of the countries: Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, Salman bin Abdulaziz, the king of Saudi Arabia and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar. The lifting of the visas with Qatar and Bahrain was among the highlights of visit’s outcomes. The parties had signed more than fifty deals were on economy, energy, defense, education, environment, science, technology and seafaring during these meetings.

Energy deals in particular made it possible to take the vast energy sources of the Gulf countries to Europe over Turkey. As a result of these deals, the Saudi oil company Aramco is now going to establish a refinery in Turkey. Similarly, Qatar’s national oil company started works to build a LNG storage facility in Turkey. ‘Saudi-Turkish real-estate investment fund’ was also established during the visit of President Erdogan and became the latest joint initiative in real-estate industry, after similar achievements in the energy field. Turkey also set up its Sovereign Wealth Fund to increase its joint investments with the Gulf countries.

In addition to large state funds, private investors of these countries began setting up ‘halal’ financial instruments that will enable them make investments in Turkey and the first announced product was the ‘real-estate certificates’.

These are the first steps in the field of economic cooperation. Muslim countries of Middle East have realized that bigger economic advancements can be possible only through cooperation and alliances. They do not base their systems on the impoverishment of others and choose alliances instead of capitalist competitions. There is no doubt that the system has a great potential to bring wealth to the Middle East.

However, economic alliances are only the beginning. These steps were made to reinforce the spirit of unity that is already getting stronger by the day. It is crucial that Islamic countries form alliances in every area, always regard each other with respect and love and know and feel that they are always friends and brothers and sisters for each other. This unity and alliance should have begun in the Middle East and that is exactly what is happening.

Relations based on pure economic gains can never last long. There is always the possibility that the interests will at some point clash and will lead to disagreements. However, when alliances are built on brotherhood, all sorts of partnerships, be it cultural, economic, social, can be easily built. It is because such alliances aim at strengthening friendly ties, instead of interests.

That’s why for years now, we have constantly urged and emphasized the importance of a multifaceted alliance with the Gulf countries.

Muslims don't rise by stepping on each other. That’s the mentality of the colonialists. This dangerous and selfish mindset has inflicted great damage on the Muslim geography for a very long time. Muslims should never allow this dirty mindset to exist among themselves.

Muslims should always help each other, rise together and be an example to the rest of the world with their beautiful friendship. There is no doubt that any economic success attained through joint efforts and cooperation of the whole world, will end poverty, hunger, propel medical advancements, improve education levels of societies, pave the way scientific advancements; in short will change the world. Muslims should be the pioneers of this great effort.

Today the Islamic world needs spirit of brotherhood more than ever. It is high time that alliances are built for strong economic, cultural, social and scientific leaps. The year 2017 will usher in many new joint economic projects. We hope that these alliances will help make the spirit of brotherhood stronger. It is the honorable duty of Muslim leaders to bring societies together around friendship, loyalty, and love and make this alliance permanent. This is what the morality of the Holy Qur’an requires and is what will bring the Islamic world together.

Adnan Oktar's piece in Gulf Times

2017-04-22 14:42:43

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