MIDDLE EAST

Historical mistakes we do not want to repeat

One of the strangest statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the “real” problem with Qatar’s current policies is his proposal to build a Turkish military base in Saudi Arabia.

This strange proposal goes beyond the current crisis and leads to falling in old historical mistakes which happened in the Arabian Peninsula and which we do not want to remind of now. Saudi Arabia responded and said it does not need any Turkish military presence on its territories.

Inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula do not have good memories of Turkish military and political interference in their land as their memories are full of grief and confrontations.

Even Qatar, during the time of its founder Sheikh Qassem or Jassem II, clashed with the Ottoman Empire. The latter used the Battle of Al Wajbah to annex Doha and betrayed Qassem who had hosted them.

Inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula do not have good memories of Turkish military and political interference in their land as their memories are full of grief and confrontations

Mashari Althaydi

The Ottoman dominance

Qassem who lived in a Qatari area called Al Wajbah rejected the Ottomans’ dominance and sent his brother to negotiate with them. The Ottomans betrayed his brother and his comrades and a Turkish force went to confront Qassem in Al Wajbah. Qassem, however, was fully prepared.

The residents of Qatar and in east of the Arabian Peninsula fought them and won. This was on March 13, 1893. The results are well-known. Leader of the Ottoman troops Yusuf Effendi was among those killed while Mohammed Hafiz who was at the back of the troops escaped to the Turkish ship which was docked at Doha’s port.

This was an example of what happened between Qatar and the Turks. Asir, Jazan, Mecca, Jawf, Ahsa, Hail, Qassim, Riyadh, Hotat Bani Tamim and other areas in the peninsula also witnessed several battles and incidents against all forms of interferences in their land. It is enough to recall what happened to the first and second Saudi states due to Turkish interferences. There are many detailed examples about them.

The Ottomans’ presence in proverbs, sayings, poems and stories thus became negative as it was full of bad affection. There are also the “heresies” of modern Brotherhood glorification as some of their old sources are based on the days of Hamidi – in reference to Sultan Abdulhamid – propaganda. This is an entirely different story.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 20 June 2017 KSA 12:56 - GMT 09:56
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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