Man who tried to 'shoe' Erdogan arrested

Syrian shouts, "Long live Kurdistan," before attacking Turkish PM in Spain.

February 23, 2010 12:25
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Spanish police say they have arrested a Syrian national who tried to hit Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a shoe.

It happened late Monday as Erdogan left the town hall in the southern Spanish city of Seville after receiving an award. The shoe flew over Erdogan's head as he was about to get into a car with his wife.

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Spain's Cadena SER radio played a recording in which the man shouted, "Long live Kurdistan" in Spanish before being arrested. Turkey has been battling Kurdish rebels since 1984.

A police spokeswoman said Tuesday the 26-year-old was living illegally in Spain with a Syrian passport.

An attempt by an Iraqi journalist to hit US President George W. Bush with his shoes in Baghdad in 2008 has been copied around the world.

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