Turkish troops, jets set for Qatar
Erdogan signals support for Doha as it faces increasing isolation from Arab states.
Istanbul: President Tayyip Erdogan has approved legislation on deploying Turkish troops to Qatar, signalling support for the Gulf state as it faces isolation by fellow Arab states over alleged support for terrorism.
Turkey’s Parliament pushed through the bill on Wednesday and Mr Erdogan’s rapid approval of it, announced by his office late on Thursday, was followed by its publication in Official Gazette on Friday, completing the legislative process.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their arch-adversary Iran — charges Qatar calls baseless. Several countries followed suit.
Qatar vowed on Thursday to ride out the isolation and said it would not compromise its sovereignty over foreign policy to resolve the region’s biggest diplomatic crisis in years.
After an initial deployment of Turkish troops at a base in Doha, Turkish warplanes and ships will also be sent, the mass-circulation Hurriyet newspaper said on its website on Friday.
“The number of Turkish warplanes and Turkish warships going to the base will become clear after the preparation of a report based on an initial assessment at the base,” Hurriyet said.
A Turkish delegation would go to Qatar next to assess the situation at the base, where around 90 Turkish soldiers are currently based, it said.
Turkish officials were not immediately available to comment on the report, but Hurriyet said there were plans send some 200-250 soldiers within two months in the initial stage.
Erdogan approved another accord between Turkey and Qatar on military training cooperation on Thursday. Turkey also pledged to provide food and water supplies to Qatar.