Qatar and Turkey complete joint military exercise

Qatar and Turkey complete joint military exercise

Joint Qatari and Turkish land and sea military exercises will draw to a close today, overseen by top commanders from both

Photo: AFP/Karium Jaafar

Photo: AFP/Karium Jaafar

Joint Qatari and Turkish land and sea military exercises will draw to a close today, overseen by top commanders from both countries. The demonstrations of force indicate a resistance to demands which infringe on Qatari “sovereignty” from blockading Arab states.

While Turkey has maintained a base in Qatar since 2014, troop deployments to the Gulf have accelerated substantially from the 100 soldiers stationed there before June’s diplomatic crisis. On July 31, 200 troops landed in Doha aboard the TCG Gokova to take part in the week-long ground and naval exercises.

Close ties between Turkey and Qatar have been fostered by shared support of Islamist politics throughout the region. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested Ankara could mediate the Gulf crisis, but Saudi Arabia and the UAE may doubt Turkish neutrality.

Turkey, like Qatar, funds Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood—the abolition of which is a key subject of demands from the Saudi-led bloc. In Libya last week, Qatar and Turkey were accused of supporting “terrorists” rebelling against the eastern-led government; Islamist aid programs are now under direct fire and international pressure may knock them out.