Turkish exports to Qatar have tripled from their normal levels to $32.5mn since four Arab countries began boycotting the Gulf state on June 5, Turkey's Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci said late on Thursday.Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain accuse Qatar of funding terrorism. Qatar has denied the accusations.
Turkey, which has long tried to play the role of regional mediator, has backed Qatar in the dispute but is also wary of upsetting its other allies, including Saudi Arabia.
"Since June 5 exports to Qatar have amounted to $32.5mn. Of this $12.5mn is food. This figure is three times the normal level," Tufenkci told reporters at a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner on Thursday evening.
Turkey has sent more than 100 cargo planes of supplies to Qatar but Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has said it was not sustainable to maintain supplies through an airlift.
On Thursday, Turkey sent its first ship carrying food to Qatar and dispatched a small contingent of soldiers and armoured vehicles there, while President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Saudi Arabia's leaders on calming tension in the region.
Turkey fast-tracked legislation on June 7 to allow more troops to be deployed to a military base in Qatar that houses Turkish soldiers under an agreement signed in 2014.