Turkey is not going to shut down its military base in Qatar despite a demand voiced by other Arab nations to Ankara’s ally, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik told the NTV broadcaster on Friday.
“If there is such a demand, it will mean interference in bilateral ties,” the defense ministry said, adding that the base contributes to the security in the entire Gulf region. “Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda.”
There are Turkish soldiers deployed in Qatar. The number is expected to reach 1,000, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
Earlier this week, the Arab states led by Saudi Arabia issued a list of demands, including cutting ties with Iran, shutting down Al-Jazeera and closing a Turkish military base.