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Senior Turkish adviser lashes out at 'absurd' UAE conditions to restore ties

The remarks were a response to a senior UAE official [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 January, 2021

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Yassin Aktay, an adviser for the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP), slammed recent comments by the UAE's Minister of Sate for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash.

A Turkish government adviser has lashed out at the UAE for imposing "absurd" conditions in order to establish relations with Ankara, saying it has no rights to question its sovereign decisions.

Yassin Aktay, an adviser to the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP), said Abu Dhabi cannot dare to make demands on Turkey, in response to a remark made by the UAE's Minister of Sate for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash who called on Ankara to cease its alleged support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

"The UAE, over recent years, cannot dare to ask for something from Turkey, and it must be held accountable for the crimes it has committed," Aktay said, noting Ankara has no formal relations with the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

"Even if Turkey supports the Muslim Brotherhood, what is your involvement in that? It’s a sovereign right," he said in an interview with local newspaper Yeni Safak.

Earlier this week, Gargash said the UAE wants to normalise relations with Turkey that includes mutual respect for sovereignty, after a bitter public row between the two countries.

Abu Dhabi called on Turkey to reconsider its relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood to improve its ties with other Arab countries, the senior UAE official added.

Read also: UAE wants to normalise relations with Turkey, senior official says

"What we want to tell Turkey is, we want to normalise our relations within the framework of mutual respect for sovereignty," Gargash said in an interview with Sky News.

Gargash also called on Ankara to stop its "support to Muslim Brotherhood and restore its relations" with the Arab world.

But responding to the remarks, Aktay took aim at the UAE for its crackdown on opposition, including suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood who have been imprisoned and exiled.

"When Turkey does not close its doors to people who have escaped from unlawful execution or imprisonment in Egypt, regardless of whether they are from the Brotherhood or not, this does not mean that it supports the Brotherhood, it only applies a policy of respecting human life and dignity within the framework of their own sovereign rights," Aktay said.

The Turkish official also referred to the "humiliating" arrest of Turkish businessman Muhammad Ali Ozturk and his wife who he said were wrongfully detained without charge some years ago.

Plastic bags were placed on their heads and they were left without legal defence, Aktay claimed.

Relations between Turkey and the UAE have been particularly bitter in recent years, which worsened after Ankara backed Qatar during a three-year blockade on the Doha by the UAE and other states.

The UAE and Turkey also back opposing forces in conflicts in the region, including the Libya war.

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