TURKEY has rejected a key demand by several Arab states involved in a major dispute with Qatar, saying Ankara has no plans to shut down its military base in the small Gulf country.

The demand that Turkey pull out its forces was one of a steep list of ultimatums to Qatar, from Saudi Arabia and others who have cut ties with Doha, that they say must be fulfilled within the next 10 days.

Qatar has not yet commented on the 13-point list of demands.

The list says Turkey’s military base in Qatar must be closed immediately, and insists Doha also shuts broadcaster Al-Jazeera, cut back diplomatic relations with Iran and sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Turkish defence minister Fikri Isik said the Turkish base aims to train Qatari soldiers and increase the tiny Persian Gulf nation’s security.

Turkey has sided with Qatar in the dispute and its parliament has ratified legislation allowing the deployment of Turkish troops to the base. Turkey’s military said 23 soldiers reached Doha on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain broke ties with Qatar and restricted access to land, sea and air routes earlier this month over allegations the Persian Gulf country funds terrorism – an accusation US President Donald Trump has echoed.

The move has left Qatar, whose only land border is with Saudi Arabia, under a de facto blockade by its neighbours.


QATAR vehemently denies funding or supporting extremism but admits it lets members of some extremist groups such as Hamas stay in Qatar, saying dialogue is key to resolving conflicts.

Those countries have now given Qatar 10 days to comply with all of the demands, including paying an unspecified compensation sum.

Underscoring the growing seriousness of the crisis, state-run Qatar Petroleum acknowledged early on Friday that some critically important employees “may have been asked to postpone” trips abroad “for operational reasons” as a result of the embargo against gas-rich Qatar.

The list included conditions Qatar has insisted would never be met, including closing Al-Jazeera.

Qatar’s government has said it will not negotiate until the blockade is lifted.

“At the moment, there is no likelihood of bringing the matter back to the table,” said Isik.

Earlier this week, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson warned the demands must be “reasonable and actionable”, underscoring the American administration’s frustration at how long Saudi Arabia and others took to formalise their demands, complicating US efforts to resolve the worst Gulf diplomatic crisis in years.


ACCORDING to the list, Qatar must refuse to naturalise citizens from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, and expel those currently in Qatar.

They are also demanding that Qatar hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism; stop funding extremist entities designated as terrorist groups by the US; and provide detailed information about opposition figures that Qatar has funded in Saudi Arabia and the other nations.

Qatar’s neighbours have also accused it of backing al Qaida and Islamic State’s ideology in the Middle East.

More broadly, the list demands that Qatar align itself politically, economically and otherwise with the Gulf Co-operation Council, a regional club that has focused on countering the influence of Iran.


SAUDI Arabia and other Sunni-led nations have accused Qatar of inappropriately close ties to Iran, a Shiite-led country and Saudi Arabia’s regional foe.

The Iran provisions in the document say Qatar must shut down diplomatic posts in Iran, kick out from Qatar any members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, and only conduct trade and commerce with Iran that complies with US sanctions.

Cutting ties to Iran would prove incredibly difficult.

Qatar shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Iran, which supplies the small nation that will host the 2022 Fifa World Cup its wealth.

Also, not only must Qatar shut down the Doha-based satellite broadcaster, the list says, but also all of its affiliates.

That presumably would mean Qatar would have to close down Al-Jazeera’s English-language sister network.