Turkey to establish military base in Qatar
The establishment of the base will be Turkey’s first overseas military installation in the Middle East. (AFP/File)
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Turkey’s ambassador to Qatar says Ankara plans to set up a military base in Qatar, calling for the two countries to do more to confront “common enemies.”
Ahmet Demirok said on Wednesday that about 3,000 Turkish ground troops will be stationed in the “multi-purpose” base as part of a 2014 military agreement between Ankara and Doha.
“Turkey and Qatar face common problems and we are both very concerned about developments in the region and uncertain policies of other countries,” Demirok said.
The establishment of the base will be Turkey’s first overseas military installation in the Middle East. The Turkish envoy said the military will also dispatch air and naval units, military trainers and special operations forces to the camp, adding that the facility will primarily serve as a venue for joint training exercises.
Qatari officials have yet to comment on the issue, although Demirok said based on the agreement, which was ratified by the Turkish parliament in June, Doha is supposed to set up its own base on the Turkish soil as well.
Qatar is already hosting the largest air base for the United States in the region, where some 10,000 military personnel are stationed at Al Udeid camp.
Turkey has already faced criticism over its deployment of hundreds of troops and heavy weaponry to a military camp in northern Iraq. An official complaint by the Iraqi government and public protests led Ankara to revise its plans for establishing a permanent base in Bashiqa, in the vicinity of the city of Mosul.
Turkey and Qatar are accused of being supporters of the Daesh group that has occupied parts of Iraq and Syria.
This article has been modified from the original material.