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.
هل تعلمون في عام1916قام التركي فخري باشا بجريمة بحق أهل المدينة النبوية فسرق أموالهم وقام بخطفهم واركابهم في قطارات إلى الشام واسطنبول برحلة سُميت(سفر برلك)
كما سرق الأتراك أغلب مخطوطات المكتبة المحمودية بالمدينة وارسلوها إلى تركيا.
هؤلاء أجداد أردوغان وتاريخهم مع المسلمين العرب pic.twitter.com/lEynzANQiV
— د. علي العراقي (@ali11iraq) December 16, 2017
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.
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 Madina against the British plans then. Is attacking President Erdoğan at all costs the new fashion now? https://t.co/E9o4u7aSCH
— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) December 19, 2017
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 20, 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.