Turkey plans to change embassy street name in row with UAE - report

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey plans to change the name of the street where the embassy of the United Arab Emirates is located to Fakhreddin Pasha, the historical figure at the centre of a diplomatic row caused by a retweet, the state-run Anadolu agency said on Saturday.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahayan retweeted last week accusations that Ottoman forces led by Fakhreddin 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.

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.

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 U.S. ally, sees Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted ruling party as a friend of Islamist forces 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.

(Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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