A Turkish lawmaker has raised questions about a possible deal between the Turkish and Qatari governments on a military operation against Syria, Press TV reports.
Metin Lutfi Baydar of the Republican People’s Party has posed three important questions to Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu about Ankara’s close ties with Qatar.
“At one session, you explained the reason for the Turkish government’s close relations with Doha as maintaining security and peace in the Middle East and stated that we will by no means interfere in our neighbor’s affairs,” Baydar said.
“How many times have you met with the Qatari Emir [Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani] since you took office as prime minster?” the MP questioned.
“Were other Foreign Ministry officials present at your meetings with the Emir of Qatar? Were there any agreements with the Qatari Emir for a military intervention in Syria?” he further challenged the premier.
Turkey has been hosting the Western-backed Syrian opposition — the so-called Syrian National Council — and has strong ties with the group.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policies on Syria have drawn criticism from Turkish politicians who blame Ankara for pushing Turkey to the brink of war with its southern neighbor.
“Syria is one of our neighbors. In Syria, people may be treating each other badly. But this cannot allow us to wage a war against Syria,” lawmaker Muharrem Ince said in a May 12 address in the southern Turkish province of Gaziantep, which borders Syria.
“Erdogan is mulling a war against Syria, saying people are killing each other there, but wasn’t he praying for US soldiers when American bombs were raining down on Arab and Kurdish children in Iraq?” the opposition questioned.
The remarks came days after Erdogan said he was to ask NATO for a military operation in Syria.
Erdogan believes that the prolonged unrest in Syria has to be brought to an end with the intervention of international powers.
Over the past few months, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have expressed support for providing weaponry to the armed groups fighting against the Syrian government.