Erdoğan decries isolation of Qatar as ‘inhumane and against Islamic values’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday denounced the isolation of Qatar as “inhumane and against Islamic values”, and said the methods used against the Gulf state were unacceptable, and analogous to a “death penalty”.

Erdoğan’s defense of Qatar, in a parliamentary speech to members of his ruling AK Party, comes after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Doha last week, accusing it of supporting militants and Iran – allegations it says are baseless.

“A very grave mistake is being made on Qatar, isolating a nation in all areas is inhumane and against Islamic values. It’s as if a death penalty decision has been taken for Qatar,” Erdoğan said.

“Qatar has shown the most decisive stance against the terrorist organisation Daesh alongside Turkey. Victimising Qatar through smear campaigns serves no purpose.”

Erdoğan also said he would hold a conference call on Tuesday with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani to discuss recent developments.

He said the Saudi King, as the elder statesman in the Gulf region, should take the lead to resolve the crisis.

“The king of Saudi Arabia, as leader of the Gulf, should solve this issue. I especially think that he should lead the way to resolving this crisis,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan is also due to discuss the dispute with U.S. President Donald Trump in coming days, Turkey’s foreign minister said earlier on Tuesday. The Turkish president has vowed to keep supporting Qatar and has said the dispute should be resolved before the end of the holy month of Ramadan.