Posted on April 29, 2016

Qatar University (QU) yesterday hosted a visit by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Prof Dr Ahmet Davutoğlu during which he gave a lecture on “Turkey-Qatar Cooperation: Regional Challenges, Broader Horizons”.

The Prime Minister was welcomed by QU president Dr Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, VPs, deans, heads of department, faculty and over 100 students. Also attending were Qatar Minister of Education and Higher Education H.E. Dr Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Ali Al Hammadi, diplomatic dignitaries, and heads of diplomatic missions. Media representatives from the Arab and English newspapers and news networks were also present. In his welcome remarks, Dr Al-Derham spoke of the eagerness with which the Prime Minister’s visit was awaited by QU members, coming a few months after that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who also gave a lecture.

He continued: “You are well aware of the breadth of the relationship of brotherhood between Qatar and Turkey, which is strengthened by leaders of both countries and which reflects the thinking of our respective peoples who are eager for more constructive and strategic cooperation in economic and political fields. The relationship between both countries is an expansion of the history they share over the years, and is currently at its peak.

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We in Qatar look on in admiration and appreciation of the success of the Turkish experience in all fields, and take it as a model at the regional and international level. Today’s lecture “Turkey-Qatar Cooperation: Regional Challenges, Broader Horizons” will discuss the key issues and ideas on the relationship between the two countries and their communities, and will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening relations. We value and appreciate your visit to Qatar University -- which is part of your visit to the State of Qatar -- as it addresses our young students who stand at the core and are the engine of any revival that we strive for. In this context, universities and scientific institutions play a pivotal role in the expression of the greatness and prestige of societies.

Qatar University is proud of the progress it has made during the past years which is topped by being named among the best universities in the Middle East and the world, according to the latest university rankings conducted by expert international institutions. We look forward to advancing further cooperation with leading Turkish universities which have to date resulted in a number of important achievements in the area of education and research.”

Dr Al-Derham went on to say that it was important that students in Qatar recognize the Turkish culture, through learning the Turkish language, and also from the efforts of the Anatolian Club at QU, which reflects the pulse of Turkey’s young people. “In turn, we are pleased at the deepening interest of Turkish students to learn the Arabic language which is the language of Islam, and also to acquaint themselves with Qatari customs and traditions, which resemble Turkish values in many respects”, he said.

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Prime Minister Davutoğlu expressed his pleasure in being in his second home, Qatar University and Qatar. He went on to highlight the historical context of the Qatari-Turkish relations, noting the long-standing relationship of goodwill and brotherhood that Qatar and Turkey share. He also observed the key areas of this model relationship between the two countries -- politic and security dimensions, economic cooperation, humanitarian ethics, and mentality. He also stressed the importance of adopting a new approach in the education system to address the multidimensional challenges in the region, and to shape a new generation which voices the values of Islam such as tolerance, fairness and mutual respect.

Prime Minister Davutoğlu also spoke about the issues ongoing in the region touching on Egypt, Irak, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Yemen, and the status of refugees fleeing to Turkey. In the ensuing Q&A, students fielded questions on issues related to Syrian refugees in Turkey, terrorist movements in the region, among others.

On the sideline of the visit, an agreement was signed between QU president Dr Hassan Rashid Al-Derham and Istanbul University (IU) rector Prof Dr Mahmut AK to establish collaboration in education and research. The terms of the agreement include collaboration on doctoral student exchange and co-supervised doctoral theses, the exchange of students, researchers and faculty as well as academic publications and scholarly documents. Both institutions will also cooperate on establishing research projects and studies, and joint curricular and extra-curricular activities.