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Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a welcome ceremony in Doha, Feb. 15, 2017 (Press Presidency Press Service photo by Kayhan Ozer via AP).

Turkey Rolls the Dice by Supporting Qatar in Its Feud With Saudi Arabia

Monday, June 19, 2017

Like the rest of the world, Turkey was blindsided by the sudden decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to cut all diplomatic, trade and transportation ties with Qatar earlier this month. Ankara is now scrambling to respond coherently to this new headache over Qatar, a state with which it has deepened ties in recent years.

This is a strategic dilemma of the first degree for Turkey. If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fails to stand by the only true Arab ally he has left, he could lose all semblance of influence in the Arab world. If he decides to back Qatar through thick and thin, he risks torpedoing his relations with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, which have steadily improved over the past few years. Ideally, the Turks would like everyone to come to their senses and resolve the dispute peacefully and as quickly as possible. ...

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