(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
ISTANBUL - President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday dismissed calls for Turkey to close a military base in Qatar and said a wider list of demands issued by four Arab states was an unlawful intervention against the Gulf emirate's sovereignty.
In his strongest statement of support for Qatar in the nearly three-week-old crisis centered on the Gulf state, Erdogan said the call to withdraw Turkish forces was disrespectful and that Doha - which described the demands as unreasonable - was taking the right approach.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain imposed a boycott on June 5 on Qatar and issued 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran, shutting the Turkish base and paying reparations.
Doha said it was reviewing the list, but said it was not reasonable or actionable.
"We approve and appreciate the attitude of Qatar against the list of 13 demands," Erdogan, speaking outside a mosque in Istanbul, said. ."..This approach of 13 demands is against international law because you cannot attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country."