Turkish Multi-Purpose Military Base in Qatar Starts Operating

© AP Photo / Anatolia, Kenan GurbuzTurkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet
Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet - Sputnik International
The Turkish military base in Qatar has started its work, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday.

Turkish soldiers - Sputnik International
Why Does Turkey Really Need a Military Base in Qatar?
ANKARA (Sputnik) — Turkey built a multi-purpose military base for its air force and navy in Qatar, which will become home to some 3,000 soldiers. Alongside the US, Ankara now has a site for military deployment in the small Gulf nation.

The new outpost will allow Turkish troops to participate in military operations in the Red Sea, Northern Africa, and the Persian Gulf. Thus, for the first time since 1950 the Turkish navy will have access to the Pacific.

"Today, an agreement was signed on military cooperation, in accordance with which the Turkish Armed Forces' military base in Qatar started its work," Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu is currently on his visit to the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss prospects of bilateral cooperation with the country's leadership.

The new base will be the Turkish military’s second-largest overseas deployment, after the Cyprus Turkish Peace Force Commands, and the motivations for the expansion remain unclear.

Qatar is home to the biggest air base in the Middle East, Al Udeid, which houses some 10,000 military personnel. It is the forward headquarters of United States Central Command, under the subsequently extended 1991 Defense Cooperation Agreement between Washington and Doha.

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