Saudi Arabia has removed the street sign bearing the name of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman in Riyadh. The Riyadh municipality of Saudi Arabia removed the name of the Ottoman ruler, Sultan Suleiman Magnificent from a street sign without giving any specific reason.
Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Ottoman Sultan: how are they related?
The social media users believe the act is the ramification of a longstanding conflict between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Moreover, some commentators have dubbed the move as an aggressive action of Saudi Arabia which is a part of its campaign to boycott Turkey. For the past few years, Saudi Arabia is running a proactive campaign to curb the growing influence of Turkey in the region. The Kingdom has been making calls to boycott Turkish products and services.
Social media users called it a weak response of Saudi Arabia to remove the name of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman to assert its power and authority.
The diplomatic differences between Saudi Arabia and Turkey have intensified since their involvement in the Syrian civil war. Also, Turkey’s support of Qatar following the blockade imposed on it by the Kingdom, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt in 2017 magnified the tensions.
Moreover, the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018 hit hard the already strained relations.
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Consequently, Saudi Arabia has been pushing a campaign to encourage its tourists to boycott Turkey by all means. This includes stopping the Saudi citizens from the purchase of properties in Turkey, dealings with Turkish companies, purchase of Turkish products, and bar Saudi citizens from visiting Turkey for tourism.
The campaign has garnered support from top Saudi leadership and royal figures. Also, last August, the Minister of Education made a series of changes in the textbooks regarding the legacy of the Ottoman Empire. The reign of the Ottoman Empire was changed to ‘occupation’.
Saudi Arabia even objected to the new Muslim alliance between Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and Qatar.
History of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman
Suleiman I, commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the West and Kanunî Sultan Süleyman in his realm, was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1520 until he died in 1566. Under his administration, the Ottoman state ruled over at least 25 million people.
Suleiman became a prominent monarch of 16th-century Europe, presiding over the apex of the Ottoman Empire’s economic, military and political power. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies in conquering the Christian strongholds of Belgrade and Rhodes as well as most of Hungary before his conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He annexed much of the Middle East in his conflict with the Safavids and large areas of North Africa as far west as Algeria. Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and through the Persian Gulf.
Although scholars no longer believe that the empire declined after his death. The end of Suleiman’s reign is still frequently characterized as a watershed in Ottoman history. Following the rule of Suleiman, the empire began to experience significant political, institutional, and economic changes, a phenomenon often referred to as the Transformation of the Ottoman Empire.
Suleiman the Magnificent, as he was known in the West, was also called Suleiman the First, and Suleiman the Lawgiver for his reform of the Ottoman legal system. It is unclear when exactly the term Kanunî (the Lawgiver) first came to be used as an epithet for Suleiman. It is absent from sixteenth and seventeenth-century Ottoman sources and may date from the early 18th century.