What’s Behind Turkey’s Decision to Shield Doha From Saudi Anti-Qatar Coalition

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First, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan] is paying off its debts, both economic and military,” Mirzayan noted referring to the rumor that Al-Thani sent 150 special operations troops to Erdogan following the attempted coup.

Second, Erdogan is defending a loyal ally, with whom he is working hand in hand in Syria, North Africa, and with whom, until recently, he supported the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt,” the scholar continued.

Third, Ankara hopes to fill the political and power vacuum in the Middle East caused by the collapse of Iraq and exacerbated by the weakening of Egypt and the outbreak of the civil war in Syria,” Mirzayan added, suggesting that Qatar is now unlikely to further postpone the establishment of the Turkish military base on its territory.

Finally, Ankara understands that the defeat of the Gulf countries in their conflict with Qatar (which will happen in case the emirate survives) will only expand Turkey’s room for maneuver [in the region] due to the weakening of Saudi Arabia,” he stressed.

Predictably, Turkey’s decision to support Qatar has prompted dissatisfaction among the Arab proponents of Doha’s isolation.

According to Mirzayan, the Gulf realms could use a number of economic measures to exert pressure on Ankara: for instance, the United Arab Emirates is one of the largest investors in Turkey’s economy.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sits during an allegiance pledging ceremony in Mecca, Saudi Arabia June 21, 2017