Erdogan in Britain for talks with ‘valuable’ ally

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, waves to his supporters gathered outside his hotel in London. Erdogan is in London where he will meet Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May. (Presidential Press Service via AP)
Updated 13 May 2018

Erdogan in Britain for talks with ‘valuable’ ally

LONDON: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Britain was a “valuable and reliable” strategic ally after he arrived in the UK on Sunday ahead of talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Erdogan said he wanted to boost trade and security ties between London and Ankara, with Britain preparing to leave the European Union in March next year.
The three-day visit will see him spell out Turkey’s foreign policy strategy in a keynote speech on Monday before meeting May on Tuesday.
After arriving, Ergodan spoke Sunday at the annual Tatlidil Turkish-British forum, where he said he wanted to combine the UK’s financial power with Turkey’s operational resources.
“I see the strategic partnership between Turkey and the UK as a necessity, rather than a simple choice, for the interests of the two countries,” he said, in a speech broadcast by Turkey’s state-run TRT television.
“The cooperation we have with the UK is well beyond any mechanism that we established with other partners.”
“The UK is a strategic ally that we find valuable and reliable. We are ready to cooperate more with the UK in the post-Brexit in every field.”
Erdogan is campaigning for snap parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24.
He has drawn controversy for electioneering in Europe, where there are some three million Turks who are eligible to vote in Turkish elections.
The expatriate vote is generally a source of support for Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The early election is set to accelerate Turkey’s transition to the new presidential system with full executive powers which critics fear will lead to one-man rule.
May is under pressure from parliamentarians and rights groups to raise civil liberties issues with Erdogan.
“The Turkish authorities have deliberately set about dismantling civil society, locking up human rights defenders, shutting down organizations and creating a suffocating climate of fear,” said Kate Allen, Amnesty International’s UK director.
The group said Erdogan’s nationwide crackdown has resulted in mass arrests, a silencing of activists in the country and the near-destruction of Turkey’s legal system.
May’s spokesman said: “The visit is an opportunity for the UK and Turkey to demonstrate our close bilateral relationship and to have important discussions about issues of shared interest.”
It is not known if Erdogan will be meeting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who in 2016 won a prize that called for rude poems about Erdogan in solidarity with a German comedian facing prosecution for doing the same.
He won the prize for a limerick about a “young fellow from Ankara” who “sowed his wild oats / With the help of a goat / But he didn’t even stop to thankera.”
Speaking to reporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport before leaving for Britain, Erdogan said the economy, security, defense and the fight against terror were the priority areas in the two NATO allies’ relationship.
There are growing concerns over Turkey’s economic health, notably due to a wide current account deficit and fears the economy is overheating.


Indian woman who alleged gang rape dies after burn attack

Updated 07 December 2019

Indian woman who alleged gang rape dies after burn attack

  • The woman was attacked in the state of Uttar Pradesh by a group of men that included two of the five she had accused of gang rape last year
  • The 23-year-old woman suffered extensive injuries and was airlifted Thursday from Uttar Pradesh to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, where she died late Friday of cardiac arrest

NEW DELHI: An alleged rape victim in northern India who was set on fire while heading to a court hearing in the case has died in a New Delhi hospital, officials said Saturday.
The woman was attacked in the state of Uttar Pradesh by a group of men that included two of the five she had accused of gang rape last year, police said. The two were out of custody on bail.
Five men were arrested in connection with the burn attack, police said.
The 23-year-old woman suffered extensive injuries and was airlifted Thursday from Uttar Pradesh to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, where she died late Friday of cardiac arrest, said Dr. Shalab Kumar, head of the hospital’s burn unit.
Yogi Adityanath, the state’s chief minister, said that the case would be heard in a fast track court and that the “strictest of punishment will be given to the culprits.”
Priyanka Gandhi, general secretary of the opposition Congress party, faulted the Uttar Pradesh government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, for failing to provide the woman with security, even after a similar case in the state in which a woman who accused a BJP lawmaker of rape was severely injured in a vehicle hit-and-run incident.
Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, is known for its poor record regarding crimes against women. According to the most recent available official crime records, police registered more than 4,200 cases of rape in the state in 2017 — the most in India.
Government figures for 2017 also show that police registered 33,658 cases of rape in the country. But the real figure is believed to be far higher as many women in India don’t report cases to police due to fear.
Indian courts also seem to be struggling to deal with these cases. Data shows that more than 90% of cases of crimes against women are pending in city courts.
The burn victim’s death came on the same day police in the southern state of Telangana fatally shot four men being held on suspicion of raping and killing a 27-year-old veterinarian after investigators took them to the crime scene. Their deaths drew both praise and condemnation in a case that has sparked protests across the country.
The woman’s burned corpse was found last week by a passer-by near the city of Hyderabad, India’s tech hub, after she went missing the previous night.
Police took the four suspects, who had not been charged with any crime, to the scene to help them locate the victim’s phone and other items, officials said. They said the men grabbed police firearms and began shooting, and were killed when police returned fire.
The Telangana High Court ordered authorities to preserve the bodies of the suspects and submit a video of the autopsies ahead of a court hearing set for Monday.
Separately, the National Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous body within India’s Parliament, sent a fact-finding mission to the crime scene and mortuary where the suspects’ bodies were held on Saturday amid questions from opposition lawmakers about the circumstances of the suspects’ deaths.