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Turkey plans to change embassy street name in row with UAE

The mayor of the Turkish capital Ankara ordered preparations to change the name of the street

December 24, 2017 at 9:42 am

Turkey plans to change the name of the street where the embassy of the United Arab Emirates is located to Fahreddin Pasha, the historical figure at the centre of a diplomatic row caused by a retweet, the Anadolu Agency said on Saturday.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahayan retweeted last week accusations that Ottoman forces led by Fahreddin Pasha stole money and manuscripts from Medina in 1916 during World War One when the city was under Ottoman rule.

Medina is now part of Saudi Arabia.

Mustafa Tuna, the mayor of the Turkish capital Ankara ordered preparations to change the name of the street where the UAE mission is located to that of the former commander and one-time governor of Medina, Anadolu said.

Read: Turkey, UAE exchange insults in a historic war of words

Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the foreign minister of the UAE, retweeted a post accusing Fahreddin Pasha, the famed Ottoman governor of Medina from 1916 to 1919, of having committed crimes such as theft, vandalism and kidnapping against the local Arab population.

Fahreddin Pasha, more commonly known as Fakhri Pasha, is a legendary figure in Turkey and is seen as a war hero and defender of Islam. He was most known for his defence of the holy city of Medina during World War One, as the British and their Arab allies laid siege to it as part of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. It is still a historic point of tension between some Arabs and Turks to this day.

Without naming him, Erdogan suggested on Thursday that the UAE minister was ignorant. The UAE charge d’affaires in Ankara was also summoned to the Foreign Ministry over the issue.

UAE officials had no immediate comment on dispute.

The UAE, a close US ally, sees Erdogan’s ruling party as a friend of groups which the UAE opposes across the Arab world. Ties were further strained by Ankara’s support for Qatar after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on the Gulf nation in June over a dispute in which the Arab states accused Doha of supporting terrorism. Doha denies this.

Read more: The Saudi-UAE media attack on Erdogan