Qatar’s state media is reporting the arrival of Turkish soldiers in the country’s capital of Doha over the weekend. The Turkish forces are there to take part in joint military exercises, but also as a show of support for Qatar amid its blockade by several of its close neighbors in the region.
Turkey has sided with Qatar in their split with the rest of the GCC, and Turkey’s parliament passed a resolution authorizing the deployment of troops to a base in Qatar as a show of solidarity. Qatar has also courted increased trade with Turkey, mostly as a replacement source for food and water.
The reports are light on details, offering no specifics on the number of Turkish troops that had arrived or how long they’ll be there. The length of the stay may be dependent on the diplomatic situation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and if Turkey feels the need to be very public in supporting Qatar.
The split between Qatar and the other GCC nations has its origin in different views on the Arab Spring revolution, with Qatar’s state media seen supporting democratic revolutions. Turkey’s own ruling party is something of an Islamist democratic party, which has put them in line ideologically with Qatar’s stance, and in contrast to the Saudis, who backed the coup in Egypt that ousted the democratically elected government there.