Demonstrators march in Istanbul in solidarity with Qatar

 18 Jun 2017 - 17:06

Demonstrators march in Istanbul in solidarity with Qatar

QNA / Agencies

Istanbul: Turkish demonstrators took to the streets of Istanbul on Saturday to express their solidarity with Qatar against the blockade and severing of ties by some Gulf States.

The group gathered in front of Qatar's general consulate in Istinye in the European side of the city.

Fatih Kaya, head of the Public Special Operations Association, expressed strong condemnation of the charges directed at by the blockade countries.

He praised Qatar's efforts and support for Turkey during "difficult times," adding that this calls for solidarity with Qatar and "returning the favor."

The association was established after the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. 

Earlier on June 8, a group of Arab and Turkish activists who are part of "Group of Friends of Qatar" organized an event under the theme "Qatar is not alone". The participants came to Taksim in central Istanbul to affirm their solidarity with their Qatari brothers.

Turkey has stood with Qatar throughout the crisis and last week Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan 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".

"A very grave mistake is being made in 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," Erdogan said.

"Qatar has shown the most decisive stance against the terrorist organisation Islamic State alongside Turkey. Victimising Qatar through smear campaigns serves no purpose." 

Turkey also sent its foreign minister to Qatar on Wednesday as part of a drive to repair Gulf Arab states’s rift with Qatar.

“We do not want any differences between our brothers in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, and it is not enough to say that there is a problem without trying to resolve it,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Qatari news agency QNA on arrival.

He also visited Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for talks to end the crisis.

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