Prominent MbZ aide mocks Turkey earthquake victims
'Shake it again': Prominent MbZ aide mocks Turkey earthquake victims
A social media personality from the UAE has mocked the victims of Friday's deadly earthquake, with one even saying he wished the tremor had hit Istanbul.
A prominent Emirati figure has taken the Gulf state's geopolitical rivalry with Turkey to new extremes, mocking the victims of Friday's deadly earthquake.
An around 6.6 magnitude quake hit western Turkey and the Greek island of Samos on Friday, killing at least 35. The majority of the dead are in the Turkish province of Izmir, where more than 800 have been injured.
Hamad al-Mazrouei, a social media figure thought to have close ties to the Emirates' de-facto rule Mohammed bin Zayed, has drawn particular attention for a series of tweets.
"Oh God, I wish it had hit Istanbul," Mazrouei said in a since-deleted tweet on Friday. "Shake it again, God willing!"
"On Friday, when all the mosques in Turkey are calling for the destruction of France, God answered in Izmir instead," Mazrouei said in another tweet accompanied by a laughing emoji.
Later on Friday, the Emirati social media figure sent out a series of tweets in Turkish mocking President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Pretty soon you will be tried and you'll go to jail, just like every other thief," Mazrouei tweeted.
In another tweet to his more than 400,000 followers, Mazroei shared an image comparing the Turkish president to an Islamic State group member.
"To my dear Gulf - Turkey does not concern us," he said in another post, in an apparent big to discourage social media users from praying for the victims.
The UAE is perhaps Turkey's main rival in the Middle East region.
Ankara is a key ally of Qatar, a small Gulf state subjected to an economic, political and cultural blockade by the UAE and its allies since 2017.
Abu Dhabi has also taken an opposing stance in the Libyan conflict, backing rogue General Khalifa Haftar against the United Nations-supported Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. Turkey has intervened militarily on the side of the GNA.
On the other side of the Atlantic, a Canadian journalist has also drawn Turkish ire for implying the deadly earthquake was an act of judgement from God.
"The Gods have spoken," Pakistani-Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah said in a tweet, likely referring to Turkey's ongoing political row with France over the latter's treatment of Muslims.
Umut Acar, former Turkish consul-general in Chicago, hit back: "@TheTorontoSun should be ashamed for giving a column to a creature as such who has not completed his personal evolution."
Earlier this month, Mazrouei attracted controversy over a reported visit to Israel following the UAE's normalisation of ties with the Jewish state.