Turkey slams UAE foreign minister for tarnishing Ottoman legacy

The foreign ministers of the UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan is seen in this undated file photo. ( AP )

Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin took exception to UAE Foreign Minister’s retweet that accuses Ottomans of ransacking Medina.

Turkey’s Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin on Tuesday criticised United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan for sharing a tweet that targeted Ottoman history and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In a shared retweet, Zayed accused Fahreddin Pasha  an Ottoman governor of Medina from 1916-1919  of committing crimes against local population and theft of their property.

“The Turks also stole most of the manuscripts of the Mahmudiyah library in the city and sent them to Turkey. These are Erdogan’s ancestors and their history with Arab Muslims,” the tweet said.



In response, Kalin criticised Zayed for retweeting a “propaganda lie that seeks to turn Turks [and] Arabs against one another.”

“It was Fahreddin Pasha who bravely defended Medina against the British plans then. Is attacking President Erdogan at all costs the new fashion now?” Kalin asked.

Relations between the two countries are already at a low since Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terror groups and Iran.

On the other hand, Turkey has cemented its relations with Qatar by building a military base and deploying troops there. Ankara also helped Doha acquire food products that Saudi Arabia and others had blocked from entering.

Who was Fahreddin Pasha?

Fahreddin Pasha was the commander of the Ottoman army and last governor of the city of Medina.

Nicknamed “Lion of the Desert” for his bravery, Pasha defended Muslim holy city from Arab tribes, which had aligned with the British against the Ottomans.

Even after Armistice of Mudros between Ottoman Empire and Allies was signed on October 30, 1918, he refused to surrender.

Pasha kept Medina under Ottoman Sultan’s rule for 72 days after the war ended.

With his garrison and men facing starvation due to a lack of supplies, he was forced to handover the city on January 10, 1919.

The siege lasted two years and seven months.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies


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