Turkey sends 3,000 police officers to Qatar to secure World Cup

Ankara will send more than 3,000 riot police to Qatar to secure stadiums and hotels during the World Cup football tournament, a Turkish interior ministry source said.

The source said that security operations will be taken over by the hosts of the tournament, but they are under the leadership of Turkey.

Qatar has a population of less than three million, only 380,000 of whom are Qatari citizens, and the country is facing a labor shortage as it prepares for the championship, which will continue for a month.

Qatar has enlisted its closest regional ally Turkey to secure the tournament, which is expected to draw 1.2 million visitors to the country, an unprecedented number for the small and wealthy Gulf state.

In accordance with the protocol signed between the two countries and published in the Turkish Official Gazette, Ankara will send 3,000 riot police and 100 special operations police forces, as well as 50 explosives specialists and 80 search dogs, as well as dogs to Qatar, trained for use in riot control.

“During the tournament, the Turkish police will only receive orders from their Turkish commanders temporarily in Qatar, and the Qatari side will not be able to give direct orders to the Turkish police,” the Turkish source explained.

“All costs for the deployment of forces will be borne by the State of Qatar,” he added.

The source did not specify who would be in charge of overseeing the Turkish security operation, which will cover the eight stadiums where the matches will be played and the hotels that will house the 32 national teams participating in the tournament.

The protocol agreement also stipulates that Turkey will send senior officials to lead the police teams and a number of individuals to coordinate, as well as one general coordinator.

Turkey may not be the only country providing support. Last month, Pakistan’s cabinet approved a draft agreement allowing the government to send security forces to the tournament without saying how many would be sent.

Neither country has announced a final agreement.

Source: Reuters.

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