Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Erdogan's Gulf Crisis Trip Signals Conflicting Turkish Interests

  • Visit comes as Turkey builds up military base in Qatar
  • Turkey wants to ease tensions in region, defense minister says
Video player cover image

Erdogan to Attempt to Ease Gulf Tensions

Updated on

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will wade deeper into the Gulf crisis with trips to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar from Sunday, diplomacy that may be as much about protecting his nation’s regional interests as finding a way out of the six-week impasse.

Ankara has been a crucial ally of Qatar since it was isolated by a four-nation, Saudi-led coalition on June 5, shipping it food and expanding its military presence there ahead of joint military drills later this month. In a sign it’s looking to broaden that role, Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Erdogan’s two-day visit to major trade partners would aim to “ease tensions rather than fueling instability,” while reiterating that Qatar’s sovereignty must be respected.