Qatar is a country located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with neighbouring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) monarchy Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. The Gulf of Bahrain, an inlet of the Persian Gulf, separates Qatar from nearby Bahrain.
In early 2017, Qatar’s total population was 2.6 million: 313,000 Qatari citizens and 2.3 million expatriates. Islam is the official religion of Qatar. In terms of income, the country has the third-highest GDP (PPP) per capita in the world, and the sixth-highest GNI per capita (Atlas method).Qatar is classified by the UN as a country of very high human development, having the third-highest HDI in the Arab world after United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.Qatar is a World Bank high-income economy, backed by the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves.
As a small country with larger neighbours, Qatar seeks to project influence and protect its state and ruling dynasty.The history of Qatar’s alliances provides insight into the basis of their policy. Between 1760 and 1971, Qatar sought formal protection from the high transitory powers of the Ottomans, British, the Al-Khalifas from Bahrain, the Arabians, and the Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia. Qatar’s rising international profile and active role in international affairs has led some analysts to identify it as a middle power. Qatar was an early member of OPEC and a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is a member of the Arab League. The country has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction.
The State of Qatar and the Republic of Turkey established bilateral relations in 1972. There has been ongoing cooperation and dialogue in regional and international issues since the 2010s, particularly in the Syrian Civil War and the Egyptian Crisis. Both countries also support the same groups in post-Gaddafi Libya. Most recently, Turkey provided diplomatic and food support to Qatar during the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis. Some political analysts claim that bilateral relations are mostly limited to political and military affinity, referring to the low trade volume, lack of trade agreements and absence of Turkish think tanks in Qatar.
Qatar and Turkey maintain strong military ties. Several military cooperation agreements have been signed between the two, and Turkey exports military equipment to Qatar. For instance, Turkey sold Qatar its first-ever drones in March 2012,and in April 2017, Turkish vehicle manufacturer BMC signed a deal to supply Qatar with 1,500 Amazon 4×4 armored vehicles. Turkey has a military base in Qatar, and in June 2017, Turkish parliament fast-tracked the deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar. Turkey plans to eventually station 3,000 troops on Qatari soil.