Turkey’s President Tayyip Recep Erdogan is in Budapest for bilateral talks with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The meeting comes amid condemnation from the European Union for Turkey’s operation in Syria, during which hundreds of civilians and soldiers have been killed.
Several demonstrations were announced in Hungary’s capital with thousands pledging to protest against Erdogan’s visit.
According to the Facebook event, organizers have planned to show their solidarity with the Kurds, the minority group affected by Turkey’s military operations in Syria.
The protesters are expected to march through the city, ending at the Holy Trinity Square.
Orban argues Hungary’s security is dependent on Turkey’s stability, saying it relies on the country to stop millions of migrants from entering Hungary’s southern border.
The fighting in Syria has sparked fears across the EU of a migrant influx. Erdogan has threatened to allow millions of refugees to head to Europe if the EU criticized Turkey’s military operation.
Turkey wants more support from the EU on a controversial resettlement plan in northern Syria, where it aims to establish 12 observation posts in so-called “safe zones.”
Hungary is a strong ally for Turkey in the EU. The pair have a close relationship and are intertwined by culture, economy, energy and security.
Erdogan will attend the fourth meeting of the Turkey-Hungary High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.
Several agreements aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the two countries are planned to be signed as part of the meeting.
Turkey will help provide a major upgrade to the Hungarian army and deals on gas exportation will be discussed.
The TurkStream pipeline project will allow gas to be transported from Turkey, under the Black Sea to Europe.
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