After the new coalition of Arab states decided to essentially blockade Qatar this month, accusing the tiny nation of terror ties, you probably weren’t expecting to hear to much support for them. But wonders never cease, there’s at least one member of NATO and the western forces fighting ISIS who has come out swinging on behalf of the leadership in Doha. That’s the good news. (For Qatar, anyway.) The perhaps not so great news is that their new defender is someone with a rather sketchy record of late himself. It’s none other than the Tyrant of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and he thinks the treatment Qatar is receiving is “inhumane.” (CNN)
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed the isolation of Qatar, likening the diplomatic stranglehold of the small but wealthy peninsula by neighboring Gulf countries to “a death sentence.”
Erdogan’s support comes after nine countries — including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates — severed ties with the oil-rich nation citing its alleged support and financing of terrorism…
“To isolate a country’s population in every respect is inhumane,” the Turkish leader told his ruling Justice and Development Party in a weekly Parliamentary address in Ankara on Tuesday.
“Qatar is not the one who supports terrorism, quite the opposite. Along with Turkey, it is the country with the most resolute stance against ISIS which has caused grave damage to our region,” Erdogan continued.
For once I wholeheartedly agree with Erdogan. “Isolating people in every respect” certainly is inhumane. But we might want to pause for a moment and compare who precisely is more isolated… the people in the wealthy cities of Qatar who have opened food shipping lanes from Oman and have air supplies coming from Iran? Or is is the political enemies of President Erdogan who are sitting in his prisons in the tens of thousands, frequently with no access to or contact with their families?
Look, I’m not here to make the case that Qatar has clean hands in terms of the terrorist underbelly of the world. They’ve been a “complicated ally” of ours at best, serving many purposes and requiring us to turn a blind eye to many other activities they engage in. At the same time, it’s just a tad bit hypocritical of countries like Saudi Arabia to be hurling stones at Qatar over terror funding when you consider the enormous glass mansion they live in. If you find any countries in that alliance who have an angel on both shoulders be sure to let me know.
But Turkey is, at this point, essentially a failed democracy. If Erdogan wants to lend a hand to Qatar and it helps keep the peace in the region and our coalition against ISIS intact, I suppose it’s all for the best. But hearing this accusations coming from their own tyrant makes it ring a bit hollow in my ears.