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Gulen Schools Worldwide: Gulen Turkish Schools in Yemen creates division fr...

Gulen Schools Worldwide: Gulen Turkish Schools in Yemen creates division fr...: People walk past the Bab al-Yemen gate in the old part of Sanaa, Jan. 6, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah) Read more: http://www.a...

People walk past the Bab al-Yemen gate in the old part of Sanaa, Jan. 6, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)

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From the Sabaha region, which overlooks Sanaa from the west and constitutes a vital outlet to the port of Al-Hudaydah on the Red Sea, the Ottoman (Turkish) armies invaded Sanaa twice to tighten their grip on it — in 1538 and again in 1849. Perhaps it was there that the commanders of both armies paused to take a first look at a national capital that they were about to turn into merely another capital for a new Ottoman vilayet (administrative division).

About This Article

Summary :
Turkish influence in Yemen, which has continued since Ottoman times, has proven to be a divisive topic among the Yemeni public.
Original Title:
Turkey: The New-Old Actor in Yemen
 Farea al-Muslimi
Posted on:  September 13 2013
Translated by: Pascale Menassa and Sahar Ghoussoub
Categories :Originals Yemen

Today, in that same region, a new tall building stands alone on the eastern side of Mount Asser, with a huge sign on which is written “International Turkish School of Sanaa.”

This school stands witness to the long history of Yemeni-Turkish relations, which is perhaps the longest-standing between any two countries in the world, despite their differences.

Naser Taha Mustafa, director of the Yemeni president’s office and former head of the Syndicate of Yemeni Journalists, said on his personal Facebook page that while his grandfather was Turkish, that has not had a negative effect on how he has been treated and regarded as a national Yemeni figure. Hundreds of Turks who stayed in Yemen after the departure of Turkish troops from Sanaa in 1918 were integrated into the highly tolerant Yemeni society, in the wake of Turkey’s defeat in World War I.

Just as some Turkish descendants are government officials, some old Turkish buildings are still being used by the Yemeni government. The headquarters of the Yemeni army’s high command uses an old Turkish building that was renovated and expanded. A Turkish monument that faces the western gate of the building was erected three years ago, standing witness to a relationship founded on common religion.


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