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Energy

Turkey is dependent on foreign energy, and gas-rich Doha has been a friend to Ankara in both foul weather and fair. In 2014, amid worries that Turkey’s highly industrialized Marmara region was too dependent on Russian gas, Ankara signed a deal to import 1.2 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar.255

When Ankara’s relations with Moscow soured after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in November 2015,256 Qatar offered additional LNG shipments to help mitigate a potential energy cut-off by Moscow.257 Turkey’s limited LNG storage and gasification capacity reportedly was insufficient for the amount of Qatari gas it would need.258 Still, the episode demonstrated Qatar’s readiness to support Erdogan. The following month, Erdogan and Qatari Emir Tamim signed an agreement in Doha to expand Turkey’s imports of Qatari natural gas.259 The deal also established visa-free travel between the two countries.260

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Energy ties have continued to expand. During a 2016 trip to Doha, Erdogan hinted at possible investment in LNG storage projects in Turkey with Qatar.261 In February 2017, Qatari Energy Minister Mohammed Saleh al-Sada said that Qatar was ready to ship Turkey’s requested amount of LNG on demand with no restriction on quantities.262 In September 2017, state-run Qatargas signed an agreement with Turkey’s state-owned Botas to deliver 1.5 million tons of LNG per year for three years.263 The following September, Turkey’s Ministry of Trade announced a deal for the comprehensive liberalization of trade in goods and services between Qatar and Turkey, thereby aiming to secure a cheaper supply of natural gas and refined oil products.264

Turkey has also been looking to develop its renewable energy portfolio through partnerships with Qatar. In March 2016, Qatar Solar Technologies signed a cooperation agreement with Turkey’s state-owned Electricity Generation Company to develop Turkey’s solar industry. The agreement came alongside memoranda of understanding between Qatar Solar Technologies and the Turkish energy companies Bendis Enerji and Fernas Group.265

Qatari firms have also been financing alternative energy development in Turkey. In 2016, Qatari investment group QInvest announced it would partially finance a Turkish private equity firm’s acquisition of an operational 81-megawatt hydro-electric power plant in Turkey. QInvest provided $30 million for the acquisition.266

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