TURKEY

Solidarity displayed by Qatar to Turkey never to be forgotten: Erdoğan

"We have never forgotten and will never forget the solidarity displayed to our country by our Qatari brothers on nearly all issues -- from the July 15 coup attempt to the attacks in August on [our] exchange rates [Turkish lira]," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his Sakarya speech on Sunday by underlining that cooperation between two countries will be sustained in many strategic fields.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday said Ankara's cooperation with Qatar will continue to strengthen in various sectors including defense, trade, tourism and energy.

"We have never forgotten and will never forget the solidarity displayed to our country by our Qatari brothers on nearly all issues -- from the July 15 coup attempt to the attacks in August on [our] exchange rates [Turkish lira]," Erdoğan said, speaking at a meeting of automotive manufacturer BMC in Turkey's northwestern province of Sakarya.

Underlining that the partnership between the two countries is based on a "win-win" model, Erdoğan said that Ankara and Doha consolidated their friendship with every "calamity" they faced.

Erdoğan underlined that Turkey's progress would continue in its defense industry, which he said had more than halved its foreign dependence -- from 80 percent in 2002 to 35 percent at present.

"Turkey's military capacity and economic, political and diplomatic capabilities should be robust," he said, adding that the deterrence of its defense sector had to be "particularly" high.

In a separate rally in Sakarya, Erdoğan underlined his government's support for local entrepreneurs in the defense sector.

"Believe me, were it not for our armed and unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), ships, artillery, missiles, armored vehicles, communications systems and software, they would not allow us even to breath," he said.

Erdoğan also reiterated that education, health, justice and security will be the priorities of his administration.

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