Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Hundreds protest in Cambridge over arrival of President of Turkey for Mosque opening

  • Watch ITV News Anglia's report by Hannah Pettifer

The President of Turkey has been in Cambridge to officially open the city's new £24m mosque.

Fresh from the NATO conference in London, President Erdogan of Turkey arrived in Cambridge amid tight security.

Invited as guest of honour to the official opening of the new Cambridge Central Mosque.

President Erdoğan arrived in a black car convoy to tight security.

Hundreds of people had been invited to attend the ceremony.

There was a huge police presence - with the Cambridgeshire force saying it was necessary to allow everyone to attend safely.

Some had travelled from London and Hertfordshire, happy just to catch a glimpse of the Turkish president.

Inside Europe's first eco-friendly mosque. Credit: Shaz Begg, Cambridge Muslim Hub

Around two thirds of the funding for the eco-mosque has come from Turkey - both from Erdogan's government and private donors.

With enough room for a thousand people, it's Europe's first eco-friendly mosque - with zero carbon emissions and a range of other environmentally friendly measures on site.

Protesters in King's Parade in Cambridge.

The mosque's patron is singer Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens.

On a visit to Turkey six years ago he met with Erdogan and secured his support, but not all in Cambridge were happy with the President's visit today.

Around a hundred protesters gathered in King's Parade, to speak out against the Turkish government.

The Kurdish community are quizzed, they're upset, they're so angry that such a leader should be coming to Cambridge to open a mosque at a time when the Turkish government are carrying out ethnic cleansing against the Kurds in Northern Syria.

– Mark Campbell, Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign

The mosque visit marks President Erdogan's final day in the UK. Many happy to have seen him, others happy to see him go.