16:23 GMT +324 June 2019
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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends to the G20 Leaders Summit welcoming ceremony on November 15,2015 in Antalya

    Erdogan Makes Neighbor Iran an Enemy With Its New Qatar Base

    © AFP 2019 / OZAN KOSE
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    Turkey's new military base and natural gas deals with Qatar may create a new enemy for the country, as it sets itself on a confrontational course with Iran.

    Turkey's new military base agreement appears to be aimed at a confrontation with Iran, the increase of natural gas supplies from Qatar could lock the country out of Turkish and European markets.

    While Russia's natural gas supplies to Turkey are considered likely to remain stable, the decision to ship gas from Qatar would cause Iran to lose that market. Turkey is now expected to build it a military base in Qatar, whose only true rival in the Persian Gulf is also Iran.

    "We are ready to provide LNG [liquefied natural gas] to Turkey, a brother country, however much they want," Qatar's ambassador to Turkey Salem Mubarak al-Shafi said in remarks carried by Turkish media.

    After shooting down a Russian plane over Syria, Turkey has also invaded Iraq and stationed troops in its Mosul region, ostensibly to train fighters linked to Iraqi Kurdistan's president, Massoud Barzani.

    Iran, which Turkey has worsened relations with, may be the next point of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's confrontational foreign policy.

    "Although the presence of the Turkish military will be a counterbalancing force for general stability, Turkey might be engaged in unforeseen challenges," Mehmet Akif Okur, a security expert at the Gazi University in Ankara, told Saudi news station al-Arabiya in June.

    Outside Iran, Qatar and Turkey also share many shared interests. One is supporting the unrecognized Islamist faction holding power in Libya's capital as a legitimate government. The other is the Saudi Arabia-led invasion of Yemen.

    "Especially in Syria, Yemen, and Libya, we share the same views and principles. We are striving for the freedom and stability of people in the region," the Qatari ambassador to Ankara also said.

    Turkey and Qatar have another thing in common: alleged support for Daesh, also known as ISIL. While Turkey is believed to finance Daesh through oil sales, Qatari has been a source of donors for the group. The US recently blacklisted and sanctioned government-linked Qatari figures who funded al-Qaeda in Syria and other terrorist groups, although it is unknown if the royal family is involved in the financing of Daesh.


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