Ankara (June 10, 2017) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ratified legislation for increased military cooperation with Qatar, including a deal for the deployment of Turkish troops there.
Turkey presidential office said in a statement that Erdogan signed off on the Parliament’s approval late Thursday night. Erdogan criticized the Arab nations which had moved to isolate Qatar over its alleged support of terrorism.
Up to 5,000 Turkish soldiers might be deployed to Qatar under the new legislation and troops are now on standby and ready for their deployment, said Turkish media.
Earlier, Turkey’s parliament had approved a legislation allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar. The bill, first drafted in May, passed with 240 votes in favour, largely with support from the ruling AK Party and nationalist opposition MHP.
Wednesday’s decision is an apparent support for Qatar as it faces diplomatic and trade isolation from some of the biggest Middle Eastern powers.
Turkey is a key ally of Qatar and is setting up a military base in the country which also hosts the largest US air base in the Middle East.