Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized the government for its extensive cooperation and investment deals with Qatar, saying that no one should be surprised if Ankara at some point announces that “half of the Presidential Palace has been sold to Qataris.”
Kılıçdaroğlu's comments came after Turkey and Qatar on Nov. 26 signed 10 new investment deals worth millions of dollars for the Turkish economy amid the country's deteriorating economic conditions.
Among the agreements that was signed was the transfer of 10 percent of shares in the Borsa Istanbul stock exchange to Qatar. The agreement was signed by Zafer Sönmez, CEO of the Turkey Wealth Fund (TVF), and Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority, at the Presidential Palace in Turkish capital Ankara.
“We do not know for how much you sold the 10 percent shares of Borsa Istanbul. Where does your love for Qatar come from? Everything is being sold. If they say tomorrow 'We have sold half of the [Presidential] Palace to Qataris,' no one should be surprised. Why did they establish Turkey Wealth Fund? Because they have embarked on a quest of 'what can we sell, to whom?'” Kılıçdaroğlu said during a program aired on FOX TV on Nov. 27.
Ankara has been appealing to foreign allies in an urgent search for funding amid the deteriorating economic crisis. Earlier this year, Ankara received financial help from Qatar as the Gulf country poured billions of dollars in currency swap deals.
Ankara and Doha enjoy strong relations, particularly since the 2017 blockade of the Gulf country by Saudi Arabia and others.
The two countries have strengthened military and economic ties in recent years.