Anti-Erdogan protesters gather as Turkish president’s controversial UK visit continues | UK | News


Mr Erdogan arrived at Chatham House amid tight security as critics and supporters of his regime both staged demonstrations.

Police were anxious to avoid the chaotic scenes which greeted his arrival in the UK when a teenager suffering back and neck injuries during a confrontation between police and Kurdish demonstrators in Berkshire yesterday.

The Kurdistan Students Union, which arranged yestrday’s protest, said a 17-year-old boy was “rugby tackled” by officers outside the Wokefield Estate near Reading,

Organisers said they were trying to blockade a convoy taking Mr Erdogan to a business event.

A video, posted by protesters on Twitter, showed a line of police officers holding dozens of protesters back from a road as a convoy of cars passed by.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said the force had “facilitated a protest by pro-Kurdish groups”.

He said: ”Protesters attempted to block the passage of vehicles and police tactics were deployed to protect the protesters and keep the road clear for the vehicles.”

Mr Erdogan arrived in the UK yesterday for a visit which includes a closing lecture at the Tatlidil Forum in Oxford, an audience with the Queen and talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable condemned the visit and accused the Turkish leader of having an “unacceptable disregard for liberal, democratic values”.

Sir Vince said: “May’s administration appears to have substituted diplomacy for sycophancy in its pursuit of Brexit.

“By permitting a state visit and audience with the Queen, May and Johnson are essentially rolling out the red carpet for a man with a disregard for human rights, who is responsible for alarming oppression and violence.”

Ahead of the trip, Mr Erdogan said the UK was a “strategic partner and ally” and he wanted to improve trade relations between the two countries.

Mr Erdogan said: “We want to continue our economic relations as the governments of Turkey and the United Kingdom without interruptions after Brexit.”

Mrs May and the Turkish president are set to discuss international issues such as the situation in Cyprus where the two nations act as guarantors.

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