Turkey’s president on Thursday defended his country’s military presence in Qatar, claiming it serves as a regional source of “stability and peace.”
“No one except for those making plans of chaos should be disturbed by Turkey and the Turkish military presence in the Gulf,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an interview published by the Peninsula, a Qatari newspaper.
The interview took place one day after the president met with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha for diplomatic talks. Turkey and Qatar maintain strong relations, “particularly since the Gulf crisis erupted on June 5, 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar and severed diplomatic relations. … Turkey sent cargo planes full of essential items to Qatar within less than 48 hours of the start of the blockade,” according to the Qatari news agency Al Jazeera.