Luxurious Qatari Boeing gift to Turkey is ready to roll-out
A contradictive Qatari gift to Turkey, a $500 million worth ultra-luxury Boeing 747-8i jet, is ready to roll-out after Turkey's flag painted on, Turkish website Airporthaber said on Friday.
The luxury plane has been under maintaining service in a hangar belongs to Turkish Airlines since it has flown from Basel to Istanbul on Sept. 15.
Turkish police have been keeping guard around the plane during the day and let no one enter the hangar, except the employee in charge, Airporthaber said.
According to President Erdogan, Qatar's Sheikh Tamim Al Thani had donated the Boeing 747-8i on September 2018 to the Turkish state after hearing that it was interested in buying it.
However, Turkey's opposition had expressed concern that the president was using taxpayers' money to buy a jet as the country struggles to avert a financial crisis.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended his decision to accept a luxury plane from Qatar at a time of economic hardship, saying it was a gift, not a purchase, and that it had been donated to the Turkish state, not to him personally, Reuters reported on Sept. 17.
The two countries have a strong alliance since Turkey has backed Qatar in a year-long stand-off with other Arab states. In December 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain severed all diplomatic and trade links with the tiny gas-rich state over its close ties to Iran and its alleged support for jihadists - a charge it denies.
Turkey sent food by sea and air to prevent shortages in Qatar's supermarkets after its only land border was closed and ships serving it were banned from many ports.