Turkey to open new military base in Qatar: report

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DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 15: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (L) shake hands during an official welcoming ceremony in Doha, Qatar on February 15, 2017. AFP

A new Turkish military base is due to be inaugurated in Qatar in autumn, according to the Al Bawaba news website.

“A new base has been built,” Hürriyet correspondent Hande Fırat confirmed in an article published on Wednesday after visiting Tariq bin Ziyad base outside the Qatari capital of Doha.

“The number of soldiers will increase. I am not giving numbers considering Turkey’s interests and security, but I can say that it will reach a drastic figure,” Fırat said at the base, where Qatari and Turkish soldiers have performed joint operations for several years.

Qatar-Turkish relations have improved significantly in recent years, especially after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Doha and imposed a land, air and sea blockade on the neighboring gas-rich nation.

The blockading quartet demanded an end to the military cooperation between Turkey and Qatar in 2017, just one of a list of 13 conditions to lift the blockade. But since then, Turkey has sent more troops to its Gulf ally, and bilateral relations, including trade, have improved significantly.

The “grand” inauguration ceremony in autumn will be attended by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad, the report stated.

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