The relation between the Turks and the Arabs, although on the face value is smooth, it has its rough edges and never been very easy. The Turk- Arab history is responsible for it! The Ottoman which originated and head quartered in Turkey had been the occupant of most part of the inhabited Arab world between sixteenth and first part of twentieth century. Neither Arabs nor Turks has forgotten this.
Recently, the UAE foreign minister, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan accused the Turks of committing crime against the local Arabs during their Ottoman rule. The accusations made by Abdullah bin Zayed include the followings, where the bone of contention has been the Fahreddin Pasha, who was the Ottoman governor of Medina between 1916 and 1919:
- Fahreddin Pasha committing crimes against the local population
- He plundered Media
- He stole properties in Medina from the local inhabitants
Abdullah bin Zayed’s accusations have scornful connotations as he attacked Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, personally. Pasha and his alleged crimes has been referred to as: “These are Erdogan’s ancestors and their past with the Arabs,”
The Arab and Turkey’s rift seemed to be widening! The Turkish media retaliated with gusto, “propaganda lie that seeks to turn Turks [and] Arabs against one another”, said Daily Sabah, a Turkish newspaper.
The pro-government paper noted the UAE “has been accused of supporting plots in Turkey against the Turkish government, as well as Ankara’s role in the broader region”.
The presidential spokesperson of Turkey, Ibrahim Kalin said, “It was Fahreddin Pasha who bravely defended Medina against the British plans then. Is attacking President Erdogan at all costs the new fashion now?”
Some of the reasons attributable to such development of Gulf States taking it on Turkey includes:
- Erdogan taking an opposite stand to the Arab states on American move to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
- Economic blockade of Qatar by the Gulf States have been overridden by Turkey by supplying essential goods and commodities to Qatar
- Turkey creating military base in Qatar to provide them the essentials
- Turkey’s increasing tilt against Israel has discomforted the Arab states that are mainly driven by American interests.