DAMASCUS, SYRIA (02:10 PM) – Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has struck back ferociously against United Arab Emirates (UAE) minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, after the latter had accused the Turkish Ottoman ancestors of crimes against Arabs.
According to Nahyan, the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish realm that founded the basis of modern-day Turkey, had “mistreated Arabs” and “stolen manuscripts from the holy city of Medina”. The rant was a clear insult directed at the Erdogan government, which claims to be the descendant of Ottoman rule.
In a message back to the UAE, president Erdogan called on the minister to “know his place”, although he did not call Nahyan by name. Furthermore, Erdogan defended the Ottoman rule over Medina up until 1919 as a “protector of the holy city”, writing in a sharp retort: “O you poor (man) who is slandering us, where were your ancestors at the time?”
The tensions between Turkey and the UAE come at a time when Turkey has officially sided with Qatar in an ongoing diplomatic dispute that saw UAE side with the Saudis in blockading Qatar in protest of the country’s warm relations with Iran.