Turkey sends first ship-load of food to Qatar

Turkey sends first cargo ship filled with food supplies to help break the Qatari blockade
2 min read
23 June, 2017
Turkey has faced increasing pressure from Riyadh over its support for Qatar and may soon face sanctions itself, according to one Egyptian source familiar with the matter.
Turkey sent the cargo ship from Izmir province on Thursday [Anadolu]
Turkey sent its first cargo ship filled with food supplies to help break the Qatari blockade on Thursday.

The ship left the port of Aliaga with around 4,000 tonnes of food, including fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs, Anadolu reports.

Turkey’s massive food delivery is in addition to the already 105 plane loads sent from Turkey to Qatar since the economic blockade began two weeks ago, Turkey’s economy minister, Nihat Zeybekci said.

Turkey has been placed in a difficult position over Qatar’s blockade, as it views Doha as its greatest regional ally while also wanting to improve relations with Riyadh.

Ankara has thus far refrained from criticising any Gulf nation for their sanctions against Qatar.

Despite this perceived diplomatic temperance, an Egyptian source told The New Arab on Friday the Saudi-led coalition is considering extending sanctions to Turkey over its support for Qatar.

"Soon we will see harsh economic sanctions against Turkey from the Gulf states, in particular Saudi Arabia which will strike the heaviest blow to Ankara," the anonymous source said.

A list of the Saudi-led alliance’s demands was leaked to AP on Friday morning. One of the prominent demands was that Doha must close Turkey's military base in Qatar and end military cooperation with the NATO member.

Almost two dozen Turkish troops arrived in Qatar on Friday as a sign of Turkey’s military support for Doha.