Turkey has expressed its outrage after the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister retweeted a post accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s “ancestors” of mistreatment of Arabs and theft during Ottoman rule.
The tweet shared by UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed accused Ottoman governor Fahreddin Pasha, who administered over Medina between 1916-1919, of committing crimes against the local Arab population during his rule.
The tweet alleged that the Ottoman governor stole money and historical artefacts from the Muslim holy city.
“These are Erdogan’s ancestors and their past with the Arabs,” the tweet said.
In response, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin accused Nahyan of spreading a “propaganda lie that seeks to turn Turks [and] Arabs against one another,” according to Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah.
“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 retorted.
Relations between Turkey and the UAE have remained tense due to Ankara’s backing of Qatar through the Arab quartet’s ongoing blockade of the Gulf state.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and imposed a blockade on Qatar in June after accusing its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council state of supporting terrorism.
In the early days of the crisis, Turkey deployed troops to Qatar and has since increased bilateral cooperation with Doha to ensure that vital goods reach Qatar.
In Turkey, state media has at times also accused the UAE and its partners of attempting to destabilise Erdogan’s government.
The Daily Sabah article that reported Turkey’s response to the retweet said that the UAE “has been accused of supporting plots in Turkey against the Turkish government, as well as Ankara’s role in the broader region.”