Budapest on lockdown for Erdoğan visit – news report

Roads have been closed in busy areas of Hungary’s capital city for the visit on Thursday of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Budapest Business Journal reported.

An image shared on Twitter by Budapest-based Agence France-Presse journalist Peter Murphy showed the city’s main avenue completely closed, with “nobody allowed even on the sidewalk”.

Erdoğan is scheduled to attend a high-level strategic council with Hungarian officials on Thursday.

Locals have organised protests against the Turkish president in support of Syrian Kurds after Turkish forces and their Syrian Islamist allies attacked Kurdish forces northern Syria last month, BBJ said.

On Thursday, investigative reporter Anita Komuves shared an image of workers cleaning anti-Erdoğan graffiti from a city wall.

But officials from the Hungarian government, which follows a strict anti-immigration line, say they favour policies that reverse the flow of Syrian refugees.

“With relation to Turkey’s operations in Syria, the Hungarian government need only take one thing into consideration: the interests of the Hungarian people,” BBJ quoted Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó as saying. “Hungarian national interests dictate that we must avoid hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of illegal immigrants from appearing at Hungary’s southern border.”

Erdoğan has vowed to resettle 1 million or more Syrians in an area Turkey seized control of during the military operation.