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Monday, May 10, 2021

Turkish defense giant Aselsan launches Qatar branch

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The opening of the branch helps support the Turkish company’s increasing activities in the Gulf state.

Turkish defense giant Aselsan opened a branch in Qatar, the company announced on Tuesday.

Under the name ASELSAN Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. QSTP-B, the Qatar-based branch is set “to support its increasing activities in Qatar,” the company said in a statement. 

Aselsan has been playing a major role in Qatar, which hosts a Turkish military base.

In 2018, the company signed the “Barq” agreement with Qatari military tech firm, Barzan Holding, for technology transfer.

The partnership, signed at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX 2018), aimed to help produce Aselsan’s “Stabilized Advanced Remote Weapon System” and electro-optical reconnaissance and surveillance systems.

Last year, Turkey delivered two army training ships to Qatar, each ship measuring 90 meters (295 feet) in length, including medium-sized helicopters.

Read also: Qatar says GCC reconciliation deal won’t impact Iran, Turkey ties

The same year also saw the inauguration of the Al Doha QTS91 training warship – one of the largest training ships in the world with the capacity to train 72 cadets – at the Anadolu shipyard in Istanbul.

Both countries have been allies since 1972, but relations have grown closer since the Gulf crisis was triggered in 2017 after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed an illegal blockade on Qatar.

Despite the signing of the Al Ula Declaration and the GCC reconciliation, Qatar stressed that its alliance with Turkey will remain unchanged.

“Bilateral relationships are mainly driven by a sovereign decision of the country . . . [and] the national interest…so there is no effect on our relationship with any other country,” Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told the Financial Times in the days after the end of the GCC dispute.


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