The Gulf crisis is dissipating and will hopefully completely disappear soon, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.He made the observation while speaking at the TRT World Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, on Thursday.Referring to the Turkish military presence in Qatar, Erdogan said his country’s base in the Gulf nation has 250 people, according to Anadolu Agency.
He said Saudi Arabia was also offered a Turkish base on its soil.
“I told them ‘if you want we can also establish a base in Saudi Arabia’. They said ‘we will evaluate it’,” Erdogan recalled. “If a response came, we could have also established a base there. The Gulf, which allows different countries to establish bases there, why does it not allow Turkey to do the same?“We should get answers to these questions.”Days after the unjust blockade started in June this year, the Saudi-led bloc laid down a list of 13 demands for Qatar, including the shutdown of the Turkish military base in the State, among others.
In response, Erdogan said demanding the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Qatar was a ‘disrespect to Turkey’ and also stood by a defense agreement signed with Qatar earlier. The Turkish parliament had also passed a bill allowing Ankara to send troops to the Turkish base in Qatar.After Qatar denounced the ultimatum served by the Saudi bloc as unreasonable and an impingement on the country’s sovereignty, Erdogan welcomed Doha’s stance and stressed that the 13-point list was against international law. “What we are talking about here is an attack on the sovereign rights of a state,” he was quoted as saying by Anadolu. “There cannot be such an attack on countries’ sovereignty rights in international law.”
Meanwhile, the Turkish president referred to the plight of Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine State of Myanmar during his speech at the forum.He said the Rohingya “were being killed by some Buddhist terrorists and also being forced to leave their homes”. “We always say this, there are terrorists belonging to every religion,” he said. No one should deceive others by saying Buddhists are doing yoga and are soft people, he added.
“No one is talking about it but you see how nearly 600,000 people (Rohingya) are passing from those rivers,” Erdogan stressed.He added that Turkey offered to bear all expenses pertaining to food, medicine, and clothing for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.Since August 25, about 582,000 Rohingya have crossed Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the United Nations (UN).
The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Erdogan has also raised the issue at the UN.
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