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Turkey-UAE rift may have unintended spillover

The conflict between Ankara and Abu Dhabi may spill over into Turkey's ties with Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA:  Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan arrives at the ministerial meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, held 03 June 2006 in Riyadh. The ministers discussed the crisis of the Iranian nuclear program and called for a diplomatic solution to this issue.    AFP PHOTO/FAHD SHADEED  (Photo credit should read FAHD SHADEED/AFP/Getty Images)

In today’s virtual world even a few lines on social media are enough to create a spat with geopolitical resonance. The recent tension between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates is the latest example of this.

It all began when UAE’s Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed retweeted what Twitter user Ali al-Iraqi had posted. The tweet accused Ottoman-Turkish commander Fahreddin Pasha of usurping Arab wealth by deporting and exiling the local population of Medina during World War I. He described the pasha as the forefather of today’s Turks — an implication referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his team. The retweet has created a massive uproar in Turkey, uniting almost every political bloc in outrage against Zayed. Erdogan and most of the opposition leaders lashed out at the UAE’s foreign minister.

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