2 TRT World reporters temporarily detained in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (R) met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu in the holy city of Mecca on June 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO

Two reporters working for Turkey’s state-run TRT World news channel who were in Saudi Arabia to cover the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Friday were temporarily detained by Saudi authorities, Hürriyet reported.

According to the report, Hasan Abdullah, a Pakistani reporter, and Nihat Yayman, a Turkish cameramen, for TRT World were detained at their hotel in Mecca. The two were released after 10 hours following Çavuşoğlu’s talks with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.

Saudi security forces kept the reporters in a car for hours and asked questions about Qatar, the report said.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Mecca on Friday as part of Turkish efforts to defuse a crisis in the Gulf that erupted last week after several countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, severed ties with Doha over its support for terrorist groups.

Accompanied by Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Çavuşoğlu had visited Qatar and Kuwait on Wednesday.

On Tuesday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Saudi King Salman – the eldest statesman in the Gulf – must show leadership and solve the crisis with Qatar.

Criticizing the Gulf countries’ isolation of Qatar by saying it is “inhumane and against Islamic values,” Erdoğan said, “It’s as if a death penalty decision has been imposed on Qatar.”

A delegation consisting of three members of the Turkish military was dispatched to Qatar on Tuesday to make preparations for troop deployment to the country, which is now in a diplomatic crisis with other Gulf states.

On June 7, the Turkish Parliament approved legislation allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar.

The diplomatic crisis erupted between Qatar and other Gulf countries after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Doha claiming Qatar embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disrupting stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda, and constantly promotes the messages and schemes of these groups through their media.

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