Turkey has summoned a United Arab Emirates diplomat over a recent social media post insulting an Ottoman-era governor that was shared by the UAE’s foreign minister.
Acting UAE ambassador Hawla Ali al-Shamsi was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry, sources from the ministry told Anadolu news agency on condition of anonymity because of restrictions on speaking to the media.
The diplomat was informed of Turkey’s concern over the post retweeted by Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The tweet was aimed at Fahreddin Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Medina, now in Saudi Arabia, from 1916-1919.
It suggested the Ottoman governor had committed abuses against the local population and pilfered property.
Medina, which houses the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb and is revered by Muslims, was ruled by the Ottoman Turks until they were defeated by the British and their Arab allies in World War I.
In the post, Turks were accused of stealing “most of the manuscripts of the Mahmudiyah library in the city” and sending them to Turkey.
“These are Erdogan’s ancestors and their history with Arab Muslims,” the tweet said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said: “It’s no coincidence that those who take pride in keeping the company of tyrants – at a time when Muslims are under violent attack – would target Fahreddin Pasha.”
Erdogan said “some Arab leaders” were antagonising his country in order to “cover their ignorance and their incompetence”.
Turkey’s president stressed Ottoman authorities were “protecting the holy relics of the Prophet Mohammad” from the British invasion of Hejaz, present-day western Saudi Arabia.