Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Pope Francis on Monday, with a protest ban imposed in central Rome as feelings run high over Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish militia inside Syria, the AFP reports.
For the first such visit by a Turkish leader for 59 years, the Italian authorities have imposed a 24-hour ban on demonstrations which will cover Erdogan’s arrival late on Sunday to his departure on Monday evening.
A total of 3,500 police have been deployed for the visit.
Nevertheless a sit-in protest by 200 people, organised by a Kurdish association in Italy, is scheduled to take place on Monday not far from the Vatican.
Erdogan will probably thank the pontiff for opposing the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“We are both in favour of the status quo and we have the will to protect it,” Erdogan said in an interview published on Sunday.
Relations between Turkey and Vatican were not so cordial in June 2016 when the pope, used the word “genocide” during a visit to Armenia.