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Making Sense of Turkey's Reaction to the Qatar Crisis


When the Qatar crisis erupted in June 2017, Turkey quickly sided with Qatar, sending tons of food supplies and deploying troops in the Emirate. Yet, from a purely geopolitical and economic perspective, Turkey would have been expected not to take sides given its much larger trade relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and their political clout in the region and beyond. It seems that the path dependence in bilateral relations between Turkey and Qatar pre-ordained the former’s reaction. More specifically, by the time the Gulf crisis erupted, Turkey and Qatar had already developed a special relationship, which strongly affected Turkey’s pro-Qatar stance.
Keywords: Gulf crisis, GCC, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Arab Spring