Theresa May said Britain and Turkey have bolstered their security relationship to fight ISIS
Following talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Mrs May said the two countries have “agreed to strengthen our security relationship, intelligence sharing, aviation security and domestic security”.
The British Prime Minister said Britain will continue working together with Turkey to “fight Daesh”, another term for ISIS.
During a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yıldırım in Ankara, she said: “We will help Turkey, and never forget that in the last 18 months over 1,500 Turkish civilians and security personnel have been killed.
“We will also work together to protect the 1.7million British tourists who travel to Turkey each year.”
The Tory leader, speaking a day after visiting new US President Donald Trump at the White House, paid tribute to Turkey for hosting more than 3m refugees from surrounding countries.
She added Britain is working together with Turkey and Greece to secure an early agreement to ensure a “stable Cyprus for all people”.
Mrs May added she was pleased with the negotiations so far.
Keen to emphasise how Turkey and Britain will have a strengthened relationship following the talks, she revealed the two country’s have agreed to establish a trade working group as part of a “new and unique framework”.
An hour before the press conference Mrs May and Mr Yildirim announced a £100m deal between BAE Systems and TAI (Turkish Aerospace Industries) to work together to develop the TF-X fighter programme.
She told reporters: “BAE and TAI are in the pre-design phase for the Turkish jet TF-X which is more than just a trade deal.
“This is the start of a deep defence project.
“We are making concrete commitments to a strengthened relationship.”
Mrs May refused to answer questions about how she felt regarding Mr Trump barring visitors from seven mainly Muslim nations after reports emerged today of Muslims with US visas being refused entry to the country.
After being pushed to answer, she said: “The US is responsible from the US policy on refugees.
“The UK is responsible for the UK’s policy and we have brought vulnerable refugees to the UK as well as addressing the root cause of the problem.”
She spoke of the “significant contribution” Turkey has made to helping the millions of refugees fleeing countries in the Middle East.
The Prime Minister revealed she raised the issue of human rights with President Erdogan and expected Turkey to adhere to global human rights laws.
Mr Yildirim was more direct in his condemnation of Mr Trump’s attitude to immigration.
He said: “The refugee issue is a global issue. There are 55m refugees worldwide.
“You cannot settle this issue by constructing walls.
“The key is more co-opeartion and more decisiveness, more will. Nobody leave their home for nothing.
“They came here to save their lives and our doors were open and if the same thing is to happen again we will do it again because our values, our tradition, has taught us this.
“If there’s someone in need you give a helping hand. This is one of the most important humanitarian duties we have.”
He refused to answer questions about Britain leaving the EU, while Turkey attempts to join.
Mr Yildirim, added: “Brexit is the issue of the UK, it’s a domestic problem.”