President of Turkey coming to Portsmouth

VISITOR President Abdullah G�
VISITOR President Abdullah G�
HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth            Picture: PA

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THE President of Turkey will visit Portsmouth this week on the final day of his state visit to Britain.

Abdullah Gül and his wife Hayrünnisa will come to Portsmouth Naval Base on Thursday morning, before moving on to take afternoon tea at Stansted Park stately home in Rowlands Castle.

At the base, President Gül will be taken on a tour of one of the Royal Navy’s new Type 45 destroyers, HMS Dauntless, while the Turkish First Lady will be shown around the HMS Victory Museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

They will then both attend a lunch hosted by the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Charles Montgomery, in the Great Cabin of HMS Victory.

Captain Jeremy Rigby, who is deputy commander of Portsmouth Naval Base, said: ‘The naval base is delighted to be hosting such a high-profile visit.

‘It provides an opportunity for the UK to co-operate with the Turks over the development of their naval programmes and allows us to show off the huge capabilities of our new Type 45 destroyers.’

In the afternoon, the President and his wife will go to Stansted Park stately home in Rowlands Castle to take tea with the Earl of Bessborough.

James Cooper, director of Stansted Park Foundation charity, said: ‘We are tremendously proud to be honoured by this state visit.

‘Everyone here will do their utmost to ensure that the President and his wife enjoy an interesting and relaxing time in this beautiful historic house.’

His trip to Portsmouth is the only place President Gül will travel to outside of London during a three-day state visit which starts tomorrow.

The 61-year-old is the 11th President of the Republic of Turkey and has been in office since August 2007. He was previously Turkish Prime Minister for four months in 2002 to 2003.