Turkey is building up its military presence in Qatar, an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, in defiance of a Saudi-led bloc’s demand that the Turkish military pull out of the emirate.
"Turkey’s steady buildup continues there, protecting the border and the security of the Qatari government,” adviser Ilnur Cevik said Monday by phone. Turkey has deployed dozens of commandos and some artillery units in Qatar, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said earlier this month that the Saudi alliance’s demand amounts to interfering with Turkey’s "sovereign right.”
The Turkish government has sided with Qatar in its spat with four nations that cut diplomatic and commercial ties with the emirate on June 5. They have vowed to restore them only after the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas complies with a list of 13 demands, including ending Turkey’s military presence, scaling back ties with Iran and severing relations with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Qatar has rebuffed the demands and has denied the bloc’s allegation that it funds terrorism.