Turkey stands up for Qatar

Turkey stands up for Qatar

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the sanctions imposed against Qatar, describing them as inhumane and non-Islamic, and calling on Gulf and Arab countries to solve the issue.

"Depriving Qatari people from food and water, travel, or worship is inhumane, non-Islamic," Erdoğan said during the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting in Ankara.

Erdoğan likened the sanctions to a "death penalty" sentence for Qatar, which he deemed unacceptable.

"Qatar is not a country that supports terrorism, on the contrary, it is a country that fights alongside Turkey against ISIS terror organization. Portraying Qatar as guilty has no benefits for the region," Daiy Sabah cited Erdoğan as saying.

The president called upon Saudi Arabia to solve the crisis as the leading country involved in the spat.

Erdoğan that he would hold a joint phone call Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to discuss the recent developments.

He is also expected to discuss the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump in the upcoming days.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also earlier condemns the isolation of Qatar. "Only through direct dialogue it is possible to better understand each other's concerns, look at the ways of solving these concerns, ensure transparency in all these issues."

"In the wake of a crisis in relations between Qatar and some other Arab states, Sergei Lavrov and Javad Zarif called on all the sides concerned to start dialogue in order to work out mutually acceptable solutions to preserve peace and stability in the Persian Gulf and to consolidate efforts in the fight against terrorism," Russia’s Foreign Ministry reported.

The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Erdogan's statement was expected. "Recently, Turkey has taken serious measures aimed at improving relations with such an economically powerful state as Qatar, especially since they have many coincidences on a number of political moments. First, Erdogan would want to show that it represents a country which after choosing the cooperation, will follow this path, whatever happened," he pointed out in the first place.

"The second point is linked to Turkey's concern that the already very difficult military and political situation in the region is aggravated by a new conflict. I think the Turks are not interested in the increasing complication of the regional situation. Now it is necessary to overcome this slipping into a confrontation between a group of Arab states and Qatar, Russia also supports resolving of the diplomatic conflict as soon as possible," Andrey Baklanov emphasized.

The diplomat recalled that Turkey is already providing some assistance to Qatar in order to prevent its isolation and possible economic and domestic political negativity due to the sanctions. "We would like to hope that further development of the situation will go along the way of a systemic overcoming of the crisis, which, in my opinion, is largely artificial. There are opportunities to resolve all these problems by negotiating," the deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association concluded.

The head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies, Yuri Mavashev, drew attention to the fact that Turkey "was the first to confidently declare its friendly relations with Qatar. There are many reasons, probably the first among them is ideological: Qatar is the base of the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, there are financial ties between Qatar and Turkey, as well as gas issues," he said.

"The Qatari crisis is very reminiscent of an attempt to throw off responsibility for supporting terrorists from Saudi Arabia and other states, in particular the UAE, and transfer it to Qatar with the support of US President Donald Trump. It can be assumed that the US president promised to support Saudi Arabia and other countries of the region against Qatar, because Qatar supported Clinton in the presidential elections," Mavashev noted.

Thus, Erdogan found himself in a difficult situation. "He does not want to lose the support of the Arab countries, but he could not but support Qatar. The UAE began spreading information that Erdogan was involved in terrorism himself, and at the same time, the former Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Ankara Should support Doha, since Doha always supported Ankara," the scientist recalled.

In his estimation, it is possible to forecast certain changes in the Turkish foreign policy. "Before Ankara had represented the matter in such a way that there is a Muslim world without borders and states, with a Muslim idea only, and Turkey, as a locomotive, will lead this world forward. But current position of the Gulf monarchies is that if Turkey is not with them, it is against them," Yury Mavashev said.

"In general, all we see now is an attempt to strengthen the Turkish negotiating positions. Erdogan will meet with Secretary of State Tillerson and the Emir of Qatar. Although I am confident that, as a result , the Arab countries will make concessions in their favor, and the blockade of Qatar will be lifted until they politically agree," the head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies concluded.

On June 5, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, as well as Yemen, the interim government of Libya, the Maldives and Mauritius announced cutting diplomatic relations with Qatar over Doha’s hostile policies, interference in other Arab countries’ internal affairs and support of terrorism. Mauritania and the Comoro Islands later followed suit, while Jordan and Djibouti reduced their diplomatic representation in Qatar. However, Doha considers these actions unreasonable and rejects all accusations as groundless.