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The rising tensions in the Middle East and its corresponding effect on cyber safety has led to various countries preparing for honed cyber capabilities.

Qatar has been in limelight for its controversial relations with the strong Saudi Arabia-UAE led bloc which gauged worldwide attention due to the diplomatic blockade. 

Since then, Turkey, which also have had tensions with Saudi Arabia, has been playing an important role in supporting cyber operations led by Qatar.

Turkish authorities blocked Saudi and United Arab Emirates news websites on Sunday, days after the sites of Turkey’s state broadcaster and news agency were blocked in Saudi Arabia.

The reason for doing this is an ongoing spat over the countries’ media networks and amid simmering tensions between Ankara and Riyadh over the 2018 murder of a prominent Saudi journalist in Istanbul.

The Turkish website of the UK-based Independent newspaper, which is operated by a Saudi company, was one of the sites to blocked on Sunday, in a move that its editor said reflected political tensions between Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

“We believe the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Turkey reflected on us,” editor Nevzat Cicek told Reuters. Sunday’s decision appeared to be “retaliation against Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia blocked several Turkish media websites, including those of state broadcaster TRT and Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency. The UAE, however, is yet to take any action against any Turkish website.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey have worsened since the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

Turkish prosecutors last month charged 20 suspects including two former top aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the brutal 2018 murder of Riyadh critic Khashoggi.

Saudis, who enjoy investing and holidaying in Turkey, were urged to boycott the country last year.

Turkey meanwhile is a key backer of Qatar, especially after a Riyadh-led economic blockade began against the Gulf state in 2017, and is accused of supporting groups including the Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia views the Brotherhood as an existential threat.