22:00 GMT +324 June 2018
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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses with commandos following a fast-breaking iftar dinner at the 1. Commando Brigade in Kayseri, Turkey, June 8, 2017

    Damned If You Do? Turkish Military Deployment to Qatar May Be a Mistake

    © REUTERS / Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace
    Middle East
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    While Turkey prepares to deploy a sizeable military contingent to Qatar amid the ongoing diplomatic row between Doha and other Arab states, it remains unclear whether this move will actually help resolve the crisis.

    On June 12 a military delegation from Turkey arrived in Qatar in order to facilitate preparations for the upcoming deployment of a Turkish military contingent.

    According to Turkish Ambassador to Qatar Ahmet Demirok, about 3,000 servicemen from different branches of the Turkish armed forces will be deployed at a military base in Qatar.

    However, Koray Gurbuz, a military analyst at Bilkent University and former chairman of the Turkish Veterans Council, told Sputnik Turkiye that this move may in fact further exacerbate the already volatile situation in the region.

    The analyst explained that while Turkey is definitely a powerful and influential country which cannot simply ignore the emerging threats in the region, Ankara needs to calmly assess the situation and put its own interests first.

    "The Turkish military should, first and foremost, protect the people of Turkey and to fight terrorism that threatens them. It is wrong to send our troops to assist other states until Turkish people are completely safe. Turkey has its own vital interests and goals. First, Turkey needs to deal with its own problems and to help promote peace and stability in the region," Gurbuz said.

    He pointed out that the Qatari diplomatic crisis is directly associated with the US ambition to establish complete control over the Middle Eastern energy resources, and that by sending its troops to Qatar Turkey may become hostage to the situation, which will hardly help improve stability in the region.

    "Turkey should seek to avoid becoming involved in conflicts. What will the Turkish troops do in Qatar? Protect the emirate’s citizens? The Turkish army should first and foremost protect Turkish citizens and not someone else’s. What if the crisis devolves into armed struggle? What would Turkish soldiers do in case of an armed attack against Qatar? In that case casualties would be inevitable, and what’s worse, Turkey would become involved in a war it has nothing to do with," he said.

    According to Gurbuz, this military deployment cannot be considered a constructive move by Ankara as it only further exacerbates the already volatile situation in the region, which may already be balancing on the brink of an armed conflict.

    "The problem should be solved not by sending in the military; it needs to me resolved on the international stage, by discussing the methods of resolution with other countries in the region," the analyst surmised.


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    conflict, resolution, crisis, military deployment, Turkish Armed Forces, Qatar, Turkey
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