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Turkey and Qatar Use Science to Strengthen National Ties

Turkey and Qatar Use Science to Strengthen National Ties

The Qatar National Research Fund, an education foundation in Doha, has pledged to strengthen research partnerships with TUBITAK, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.

Gulf News reports Orkun Hasekioglu, Vice-President of TUBITAK, said at the launch of a joint funding initiative on cybersecurity in Doha: “We hope to expand the scope of joint activities as well as the areas of collaboration into a number of fields such as energy, aviation, space, biotechnology, health and several more programmes.”

“Some of the areas where we can work within the expertise of TUBITAK are designing and building unmanned aerial vehicles; building a micro factory for inexpensive electric cars; water treatment and desalination facilities; symbiotic cities; building gas turbine internal combustion engines; building next generation genome sequencing systems; satellites for surveillance and communications, food processing plants and detection and counter measures for chemical and biological agents,”

Hasekioglu also hopes to set up a joint committee to steer research projects.

The intentions by TUBITAK to co-operate with Qatar mirror ties between the Governments of Erdogan and Sheikh al-Thani, after Turkey stepped in to supply Qatar during the GCC blockade in June. Qatar hosts a Turkish airbase, alongside the al-Udeid base hosting US forces. Turkish President Erdogan strongly condemned the Qatar embargo, calling it “a very grave mistake.”

Despite the pledge of stronger ties, Erdogan’s government has previously interfered with TUBITAK – the British Royal Society of Chemistry reports the former head of the group, Professor Kemal Guruz, has been held in prison in Turkey on charges of participation in a 1997 coup, since 2012.

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