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    Turkey 'Should Develop Ties With Russia' to Oppose US 'Plan' for Mideast

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    Persian Gulf Disarray: a Number of States Sever Relations With Qatar (185)
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    For Turkey, it is more important to maintain cooperation in the region with Russia than with the United States, the chairman of Turkey’s Felicity Party (SAADET) told Sputnik.

    In an interview with Sputnik Turkey, Temel Karamollaoğlu shared his thoughts on the current situation in the Middle East and Ankara’s role in the diplomatic crisis around Qatar.

    According to the politician, currently attempts are being made to divide the region in accordance with the interests of global forces and the Gulf crisis is part of a plan to redraw the map of the Middle East.

    "This is the strategy global forces are trying to play out. There is a visible attempt to re-draw the regional map. No one is hiding that. As part of this strategy, regional actors are armed and forced to fight each other. As a result, they get weaker," Karamollaoğlu said.

    According to him, Turkey could play a role in resolving the crisis in the Middle East if Ankara implements an independent foreign policy.

    "The only way for Turkey is to make free from imperialistic influence and carry out an independent policy in the region, in order to contribute to maintaining order and peace. Otherwise, Turkey will be under external influence," he pointed out.

    The politician noted that the current crisis has a century-long history and Turkey has long been facing this threat.

    "It all started from the war between Iran and Iraq 30 years ago. Later, Iraq was dragged into war against Kuwait. Then, the United States invaded Iraq," he said.

    Karamollaoğlu suggested that the current crisis around Qatar could be used as a pretext to drag Turkey into this process.

    On June 5, a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and embargoed all sea, air and land traffic to the country, accusing Doha of supporting terrorist groups, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist movement, as well as interfering in other countries' domestic affairs. Several other states in the region reduced diplomatic relations with the country.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a ceremony in Eskisehir, Turkey, March 17, 2017
    © REUTERS/ Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace
    Since the very outbreak of the crisis, Ankara has denied the allegations against Doha and called for the restoration of ties with Qatar, especially in fighting terrorism.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the move to isolate the tiny Gulf nations as a "grave mistake" and said it was "against Islamic values."

    "Qatar has shown the most decisive stance against the terrorist organization Islamic State alongside Turkey. Victimizing Qatar through smear campaigns serves no purpose," Erdogan told members of his part in Ankara.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has also been actively involved in mediating the crisis.

    "The crisis in the Middle East is a threat to Turkey’s territorial integrity. Now, it is much more important to maintain close cooperation with Russia, than with the US. Washington breaches any political rule or norm. The US has invaded several countries without a resolution after 9/11. In this situation, Turkey should develop ties with Russia," Karamollaoğlu said.

    In an earlier interview with Sputnik Turkey, Turkish political analyst and author Samer Saleha also suggested that the Qatar crisis is a threat for Turkey and Ankara may be the "next target."

    "In this situation, Turkey believes that it could be the next target [after Qatar]. The Turkish leadership and experts believe that an attack on Turkey will come next. It will be delivered both by Gulf states and the US. This became clear after [US President] Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh. It may be part of an American plan in the region," Saleha said.

    Topic:
    Persian Gulf Disarray: a Number of States Sever Relations With Qatar (185)

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    diplomatic crisis, cooperation, Turkey, United States, Russia, Middle East
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