Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has just finished meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London, the two discussed current events, including the situation in Syria. Prime Minister May urged President Erdogan to “not lose sight of values” as Turkey continued to combat “Kurdish terrorism” in Syria and at home. During a press conference, Prime Minister May declared that,
It is right that those who sought to overthrow the democratically elected government are brought to justice … But it is also important that in the defense of democracy — which has been facing extraordinary pressures from the failed coup, instability across the border from Syria and from Kurdish terrorism — Turkey does not lose sight of the values it is seeking to defend.”
The two NATO allies are seeking to improve trade and further economic growth between themselves. While the U.K. recognizes the PKK as a terrorist organization, it views the Kurdish YPG as an ally despite their alleged connections to the later; Turkey views the YPG as a close ally to the PKK and has declared them both to be terrorist organizations despite backlash from the international community, particularly those within NATO.
President Erdogan disclosed that Turkey and the U.K. have agreed to “a declaration of intent” and plan to cooperate in future security operations. Erdogan stated that,
In addition to this, we are working on new agreements in terms of security and intelligence … We want to deepen our cooperation with the United Kingdom in the prevention of the activities of these terrorist organizations — the freezing of the assets of the members of the organization and their extradition to our country.”
He expressed his desire to “deepen” cooperation between the two nations to combat various “terrorist organizations.” He also mentions in his speech that he felt a great deal of opposition towards the killing of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers and said that Islamic nations needed to unify in this regard.
Prior to the meeting between the President Erdogan and the British prime Minister, a crowd of around
100 protesters took to the streets outside screaming slogans while waving ant Erdogan signs with a picture of Erdogan and the word “terrorist” on them. Other signs read “tamam,” which translates to finished or enough. This slogan was about a speech Erdogan made stating he would resign should the Turkish nation say, “tamam.” Pro-Erdogan activists were in attendance as well. Turkish presidential elections will be in June and currently Erdogan intends to run for office again.