Nov 08 2017

UAE offered Turkey’s Erdoğan asylum during Gezi protests – Yeni Şafak columnist

A columnist at Turkey’s Islamist newspaper Yeni Şafak has claimed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offered then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asylum during 2013 protests against his rule.

Mehmet Acet said that Erdoğan had received the offer in a phone call from the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, while on a state trip to Morocco during the height of the Gezi protests.

Part of Erdoğan’s speech a few days later, according to Acet, was directly inspired by the incident: “We know very well that whenever there is a coup attempt (in Turkey), some in the Gulf are very pleased by it.”

Acet said that the UAE’s involvement in multiple conspiracies against the Turkish government was more than enough reason for Turkey to worry about developments in neighbouring Saudi Arabia:

New building blocks are being laid in the Gulf by the hands of the U.S. and Israel for the New Middle East Project that the United Arab Emirates has so talked up …

I would say that the earthquakes in the Gulf will hit Turkey right at this point.

Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (L) and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan
Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (L) and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan / AFP

Acet also said that the UAE had been behind the funding of the Gezi protests and the rise of the Gülen movement in the lead-up to the failed 2016 coup.