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Turkey sends first aid ship to Qatar amid tensions

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Turkey sends first aid ship to Qatar amid tensions
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Ankara: Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said the first Turkish ship carrying aid to Qatar has departed, in a bid to break the blockade imposed on Doha by a number of Gulf countries.

Speaking in an interview with the state-run Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, Zeybekci said that nearly 105 cargo planes have carried aid from Turkey to Qatar, after several Gulf countries cut diplomatic ties with Doha earlier this month, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Further shipments will follow Wednesday's batch," he said, adding that Turkey started to deliver supplies by land as well.

Yavus Ekici, head of Directorate of Provincial Food, Agriculture and Livestock, said that three trucks of vegetables are on the way to Qatar on a weekly basis from Turkish capital Ankara.

Another five trucks of food will be sent from the southern Hatay province after the Eid al-Fitr, the end of Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, according to the head of Hatay Aid Association Rahmi Vardi.

The Gulf country plunged into a crisis on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and some other countries severed diplomatic ties and closed off sea, air and land links to Doha, accusing it of funding terrorism, hosting terrorists and interfering with their internal affairs.

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