Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesman, İbrahim Kalın, on Tuesday slammed United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan for retweeting a tweet on Ottoman history and Erdoğan.
The tweet that Al Nahyan retweeted said: “Do you know that in 1916 Turkish Fakhri Pasha committed a crime against the people of the Prophet’s City, stole their money and kidnapped them and their passengers on trains to Damascus with a trip called ‘Travel Barlak.’ 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.”
In response to Al Nahyan’s retweet, Erdoğan’s spokesman Kalın tweeted: “It is a shame that @ABZayed, FM of UAE, retweets this propaganda lie that seeks to turn Turks & Arabs against one another, again. It was Fahreddin Pasha who bravely defended Madinah against the British plans then. Is attacking President Erdoğan at all costs the new fashion now?”
Turkey’s relations with the UAE have been strained due to a recent Gulf crisis in which Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, citing Doha’s support for terrorist groups including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda.
Turkey sided with Qatar and lent its full support including deploying troops to a military base in the Gulf country.