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The New Arab

Turkey renames UAE embassy street amid Twitter spat over Ottoman governor

The move comes days after Turkey summoned a senior diplomat [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 December, 2017

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Turkey will rename a street where the UAE embassy is located after a former Ottoman governor, who has been the focus of a spat between the two countries.

Turkey has said it will rename the street that houses the UAE embassy after a former Ottoman governor, who has been the focus of a spat between the two countries.

Ankara's council said on Saturday that the street in the Turkish capital will be renamed Fahreddin Pasha Street, Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported, in a move likely to antagonise the UAE.

It comes days after Turkey summoned a senior diplomat to complain about a retweet by a UAE minister that infuriated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan this week retweeted a post on Twitter in which a user made allegations of historic misdoings by "ancestors of Erdogan".

The tweet alleged that a former Ottoman governor Fahreddin Pasha pillaged and kidnapped people from the pilgrimage city of Medina in the early 20th century.

The Turkish foreign ministry summoned the Emirati charge d'affaires in Ankara on Thursday and complained about the post.

The offending tweet was first posted by a user called "Ali al-Iraqi", presenting himself as an Iraqi dentist living in Germany.

"Ali al-Iraqi" said Fahreddin Pasha - Medina governor from 1916 to 1919 - "committed a crime against the people of Medina by stealing their money, kidnapping them and putting them on trains that took them to Syria and Istanbul".

The user added: "Those are the ancestors of Erdogan and this is the history that they have with Arab Muslims."

Erdogan hit back on Wednesday, telling the minister to "know your place" as he railed against the Twitter user's "slanderous claims".

"Know your place! It means you do not know this country, you do not know Erdogan, you do not know about Erdogan's ancestors," he retorted.

"When Fahreddin Pasha was protecting Medina... where were your ancestors?"

Erdogan went on the attack again on Thursday, saying the Emirati minister was "ill-brought up" and "too spoilt by oil and money".

Relations between the UAE and Turkey are filled with distrust as Ankara supports Qatar in a six-month crisis with its Gulf neighbours including the UAE, as well as political groups stemming from the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

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