Turkey ‘conducted world’s biggest airlift operation in two weeks’ during Gulf rift, economy minister says

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Turkey has sent a total of 121 cargo planes to Qatar since an economic blockade against the Gulf country was imposed by its neighbors, making it the world’s biggest airlift operation, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi said Sunday.

“We have conducted the world’s biggest airlift operation in two weeks. As of 12 AM last night 121 planes were sent [to Qatar], then a ship was followed by seven trucks. After that, one more ship sailed off while flights continue,” Zeybekçi said.

Zeybekçi went on to say that conflicts have changed their nature in the modern period.

“Wars have gone to other dimensions. Perhaps, the most honorable ones are the economic wars. So we absolutely have to win the economic war,” the Turkish economy minister said.

Zeybekçi also noted that Turkey’s cultural geography, which spreads across Balkans, Caucasus, North Africa, and Iraq and Syria, has made the country the most generous country in regards to humanitarian support.

“I wish Muslim communities had no need for donations and there were not so many people in need in countries where the population is under oppression,” he said, adding that strong and sound Turkish economy allows the country to provide humanitarian aid.

Zeybekci expressed confidence that “these problems among brothers” would soon be sorted out through a dialogue.

Starting from June 5, Bahrain, Comoros, Egypt, Maldives, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen’s internationally backed government and one of Libya’s three governments have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that the Gulf nation funds militant groups – charges Doha calls baseless.

Several other Muslim nations also downgraded their diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Since the beginning of the economic blockade of Qatar, Turkey has been sending tons of fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs to the Gulf state.