Angry protests at Downing Street as PM meets ‘dictator’ Erdogan
PROTESTERS gathered outside Downing Street yesterday in opposition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with Theresa May.
Ahead of the event at Number 10, critics accused the Prime Minister of cosying up to a totalitarian leader for economic reasons.
Demonstrators chanted “Turkish state, fascist state” through a public address system and waved banners opposite the gates to Downing Street branding Mr Erdogan a terrorist.
Pro-Kurdish groups raised concerns about human rights abuses by Mr Erdogan’s government.
They also urged Mrs May to distance herself from the Turkish leader, who has been accused of purging opponents, sacking thousands of officials and jailing critics and journalists.
Kurdish woman Meryl (27), from London, who did not want to give her surname for fear of reprisal, was among scores of protesters outside Downing Street ahead of the Turkish President’s arrival.
“He is literally killing humans: Kurdish children, babies, every human being,” she said.
Fellow protester Fero Firat said: “Erdogan is very authoritarian and he wants to be one man ruling every aspect of life in Turkey.”
Mr Erdogan walked into Downing Street from the Foreign Office, avoiding noisy protests in Whitehall.
The Prime Minister shook hands and posed for photographs with the Turkish President outside No 10 as demonstrators shouted slogans.
He earlier visited Buckingham Palace for an audience with the Queen on the last day of a threeday visit to Britain.
Inside No 10, Mrs May focused on trade, defence and Syria.
Around 250 journalists and media workers are in jail in Turkey.
The Society of Editors had written to the Prime Minister ahead of Mr Erdogan’s visit, urging Mrs May to raise the “very real concerns” around press freedom in Turkey.
Anti-Erdogan protesters demonstrate outside Downing Street