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Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan Criticizes Qatar Sanctions


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, whose AK Party has its roots in Islamist politics and who has voiced support for the Brotherhood, signalled his firm backing for Qatar by swiftly signing a law to send Turkish troops to a base there.

Both pieces of legislation, which were in the pipeline before the recent diplomatic crisis between Doha and other Arab states kicked off, are expected to be approved by parliament on Wednesday.

"If Qatar gives in to this pressure" from its Arab neighbors, Mr. Dalay said, "that will mean that Turkey's role in the region will be further constrained".

Erdogan stood by Qatar on Tuesday, saying he intends to "develop" ties with the embattled Gulf state hit by sanctions from Saudi Arabia and its allies, Al-Jazeera added.

The development has made things hard for Erdogan's Sunni supporters, who are generally opposed to predominantly Shiite Iran and keen on seeing Turkish-Saudi Arabian ties develop, but not at the expense of Qatar or of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, which Riyadh and Cairo consider a terrorist organization. The U.S. accuse Qatar of "terrorism support" but not so long ago Donald Trump signed with Riyadh an arms contract worth more than $100 billion.

Turkey's decision to send up to 3,000 troops to Qatar further cements their growing ties, but it virtually eliminates a possible role for Ankara to mediate between Qatar and the Gulf states that have chose to isolate it for alleged support of terrorism.

A group of Turkish citizens on Wednesday took to Istanbul's Taksim Square to protest Qatar's isolation in the face of several states in the Arab world severing ties with Doha.

Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and other states this week in cutting ties with Qatar over what they say is the emirate's financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional arch-rival.

Qatar was one of the few regional countries to reach out to Erdogan as his global isolation grew. Turkey and Qatar have both provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and backed opposition fighting to overthrow Syria's Bashar al-Assad.

The Turkish foreign ministry spokesman said the resolution was "baseless" and "also against the spirit of alliance and partnership between Turkey and the US".

The Turkish embassy previously said the demonstrators had aggressively provoked Turkish-Americans gathering to greet the president, who was visiting the US.

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