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Qatar crisis opens gates of anti-Trumpism in Turkey

Pro-government Turks who support Qatar have been hesitant to directly blame Saudi Arabia for the recent intra-GCC rift, preferring instead to scapegoat US intelligence services and President Donald Trump.
U.S President Donald Trump listens to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they give statements to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTX363JL

The election of US President Donald Trump was neither a surprise nor an unpleasant event for Islamists in Turkey. To the contrary, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were making extra efforts to cheer for their newly elected American colleague. Erdogan’s 22-minute March meeting with Trump, despite being a fiasco on multiple fronts, was portrayed as the beginning of an affectionate personal relationship. Pro-AKP media refrained from using negative language against Trump.

However, the tide took a stark turn with the Qatar crisis. As several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, Erdogan decided Turkey would stand with Qatar. Pro-AKP trolls took social media by storm with their #TurkiyeKatarKardestir (Turkey and Qatar Are Brothers) hashtag.

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