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TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Britain descended into violence yesterday, as opposition protesters clashed with his supporters outside Downing Street.
Turkish nationalists attempted to provoke some of the younger opposition protesters, which led to a bloody noses and at least five arrests among both groups, as the president snuck into Downing Street through the back gate.
Erdogan supporters at the protest were seen making a hand gesture associated with the fascist Grey Wolves paramilitary group.
The Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign tweeted: “Terrorists on the street of London being welcomed by Theresa May. Speechless.”
Slogans such as “Afrin done, on to Membic” — the Turkish name for the Syrian region of Manbij — were chanted by the nationalist group, which also sung the Turkish national anthem.
Opposition campaigners, who spoke out against Turkey’s oppression of Kurds and abuses of human rights, outnumbered Erdogan supporters.
The Stop the War Coalition has opposed Mr Erdogan’s three-day state visit Britain, which saw him meet Theresa May and dine with the Queen yesterday, ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in his country.
Co-convener Lindsay German told the protesters that it was “yet another disgraceful act by this British government. It’s disgraceful that this is giving him a backdrop in the run-up to the elections in Turkey.
“It will be used as an endorsement of the attack on Afrin, it will be used as an endorsement of the imprisonments in Turkey and it is an endorsement of the growing authoritarian regime.
“We should make it absolutely clear that he is not welcome here.”
The father of Anna Campbell, who died in Syria’s Afrin canton in March while fighting for the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units, was also at the protest.
He said: “My daughter is only one of thousands that have been killed for Rojava and Kurdish self-determination, but I know she has become a symbol and I am very proud.
“We have a constant sadness over her death, but the cause that she fought for is the cause that I fight for too.”
Britain has sold Turkey more than £650 million worth of arms since Ms May became prime minister in July 2016.
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