British PM May arrives in Turkey, lays wreath at Ataturk mausoleum

January 28, 2017 14:08

British Prime Minister Theresa May laid a wreath at the Ataturk mausoleum on Saturday (January 28) upon her arrival in Turkey.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the founder of modern Turkey who is still revered by many Turks as a hero of almost mythic stature for saving Turkey from obsolescence after European powers partitioned it following World War One. He is also credited with bold reforms that put Turkey on a secular path after the collapse of the Islamic Ottoman Empire.May later met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss trade and security.

May's government is keen to start laying the groundwork for bilateral trade agreements for when Britain leaves the European Union - a process that will take at least two years after triggering the formal divorce talks by the end of March.

The United Kingdom was the second-largest destination for Turkish exports in 2015, buying $10.6 billion in goods, according to IMF trade data. Only Germany imports more from Turkey.

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