Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the isolation of Qatar by neighboring states as a violation of Islamic values and tantamount to a “death penalty” against Doha in a crisis reverberating through the Middle East and beyond. Erdogan’s comments marked the strongest intervention yet by a powerful regional ally of Doha eight days after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and imposed stringent economic sanctions on it.
Turkey has maintained good relations with Qatar as well as several of its Gulf Arab neighbors.
Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir insisted meanwhile that Qatar was not under blockade and that the moves to isolate Qatar were reasonable.
Turkey last week approved plans to deploy more troops to a military base it has established in Qatar under a 2014 agreement with the Gulf Arab state.