Erdoğan says demand to shutdown Turkey’s military base in Qatar unacceptable


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday that it is inappropriate of some Arab countries to demand Qatar to shutdown Turkey’s military base in the country, responding to the latest list of demands issued by the states boycotting the Gulf emirate over alleged funding of terrorism.

Speaking to members of the press after attending the Eid prayer in Istanbul’s Ataşehir district, President Erdoğan said that Turkey appreciated and endorsed Qatar’s attitude towards the 13-article list of demands from the Saudi-led anti-Qatar axis, which also includes closing the Al Jazeera satellite television network and curbing relations with Iran.

Qatar previously described the pressure by its larger neighbors as an “illegal blockade” aimed at curbing its sovereignty, and said that the ultimatum by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain was unreasonable.

Erdoğan said Turkey had offered to set up a military base in Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar, but Riyadh had not responded.

“Even though they still didn’t come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops (from Qatar) is disrespectful against Turkey,” he said.

The president also called on news outlets not to be hypocritical and not to ignore efforts to censor an international news organization, referring to Al Jazeera.

Erdoğan also said that he was in a good condition after shortly fainting due to low blood sugar after the Eid prayer finished.

“I had a little condition about my blood pressure, related to my diabetes,” he said, adding that he would continue his planned program despite feeling briefly unwell.

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