President Erdoğan to visit Britain in May
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is to visit Britain in May, a top official said on April 7, as Ankara sticks to its position of refusing to blame Russia for an attack on an ex-spy.
Erdoğan “will be paying a visit to the U.K. in May,” Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın told foreign reporters in Istanbul, without giving a date.
“We look forward to this visit,” he added.
The Turkish president has made relatively few bilateral visits to Europe since the failed 2016 coup although he did travel to France at the start of this year.
Kalın said Britain should not be disappointed with Turkey’s reaction to the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal, saying “we would like to see the perpetrators of this attack brought to justice.”
But he reaffirmed Turkey’s unwillingness to follow London and most of its EU allies by blaming Russia for the poisoning.
“There seems to be a lot of discussion still going on,” he said.
“The question of who exactly did it and what the full story is is still unfolding,” Kalın added.
Turkey has built flourishing relations with Russia after overcoming a 2015 crisis over Syria. President Vladimir Putin paid a two day visit to Ankara last week.
“We have good relations with Russia, we have good relations with the U.K. We would not want to see any further tension between two countries with whom we have good relations,” said Kalın.