Instead of adhering to a list of 13 demands that could have won back the Arab Quartet, Qatar might have furthered deepened the rift by adding one more Turkish military base in Doha, that opens this autumn.
Closure of the existing Al-Rayyan military base in Qatar was one of the 13 demands set down by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE that had cut economic ties with Qatar due to its alleged terror financing activities, apart from support for Iran.
While the increased presence of the Turkish contingent in the Gulf has been warmly welcomed by Qataris and their leadership, the Turkish military build-up in the region has raised considerable suspicions among Qatar’s neighbors, notably the Saudis. Turkey was one of the few nations to hold out its hand in support when the blockade hit Qatar.
Friendly relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been growing sour since 2017 when the first Turkish military base was set up in Qatar. On another angle, Turkey has been coming down heavily on the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Northern Syria, suspecting them to be the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). On the flip side of this equation stood Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and UAE that have been siding with YPG and growing their support for the same. They have been joined by the US in the same ideal.
In the past, Turkey’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood has also been a bone of contention for Saudi Arabia, which sees the latter as a threat to the sovereignty of the kingdom and the perpetuity of the sanctity of Islam as a religion of tolerance. Qatar’s support for Turkey and vice versa, does not seem to go in favor of both. Turkey already has precarious relations with the US and Qatar has been hiding behind strong PR led propaganda due to its rich coffers but does not have anything concrete to say when it comes to its alleged support for various terrorist groups in indirect monetary terms.