TURKEY

Turkish base in Qatar to 'boost regional security'

TURKISH BASE IN QATAR TO BOOST REGIONAL SECURITY

Opposition leader Devlet Bahçeli says Turkey aims to support stability in Gulf amid crisis.

Opposition leader Devlet Bahçeli on Tuesday backed the deployment of Turkish troops to Qatar as the Gulf state faces a diplomatic and trade boycott from its neighbors.

Bahçeli told lawmakers from his Nationalist Movement Party the soldiers would help guarantee security and stability in the region.

The Turkish military base established in Qatar following an agreement in 2014 "has no aim beside supporting the security and stability of Gulf countries," he said in Ankara.

He added: "We have historical affiliations with Qatar. Once upon a time, district governors appointed by our ancestors ruled this country."

Last week, parliament voted to deploy more troops to the base and approved the training of Qatari forces by Turkish gendarmeries following the cutting of ties with Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen.

The Arab states accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, an allegation Doha has denied.

Bahçeli, whose party is the smallest of the four parties in parliament, also criticized the Kurdish Regional Government's decision to holding an independence referendum across its territory in northern Iraq on Sept. 25. He said the vote would pave the way to establishing "Kurdistan".

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