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Queen meets Turkish president at Buckingham Palace

The controversial leader is on a three-day visit to the UK.

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President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is greeted by the Queen (John Stillwell/PA)

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is greeted by the Queen (John Stillwell/PA)

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is greeted by the Queen (John Stillwell/PA)

The Queen had held a private audience with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Buckingham Palace.

The head of state greeted the controversial Turkish leader in the 1844 Room of her central London residence.

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President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is greeted by the Queen (John Stillwell/PA)

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is greeted by the Queen (John Stillwell/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is greeted by the Queen (John Stillwell/PA)

Protesters have been demonstrating ahead of Mr Erdogan’s talks with Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday afternoon.

Critics accused the PM of “cosying up” to the totalitarian leader for economic reasons as she prepared to host him in No 10.

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President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace (John Stillwell/PA)

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace (John Stillwell/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace (John Stillwell/PA)

Mr Erdogan, who is on a three-day visit, has faced condemnation for purging his opponents, continuing decades of Turkish opposition to Kurdish autonomy and targeting Kurds fighting Islamic State in Syria.

Protest groups gathered outside Downing Street, including organisations supporting journalists, such as Reporters Without Borders, the Cartoonists Rights Network International and the Index on Censorship.

Around 250 journalists and media workers are in jail in Turkey.

PA