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SNP councillor ‘disappointed and disgusted’ by Yousaf picture with Erdogan

Roza Salih (Jane Barlow/PA)
Roza Salih (Jane Barlow/PA)

A Kurdish-born SNP councillor has said she is “disappointed and disgusted” by a picture of Humza Yousaf meeting Turkish President Recipp Tayyip Erdogan.

Roza Salih, a councillor in Glasgow, came to Scotland from Iraq seeking asylum as a child and was a key figure in a campaign against dawn raids used to remove refugees who had been refused asylum.

In a social media post on Friday night, the councillor hit out at her party leader, saying Mr Erdogan “kills Kurds”.

She wrote: “I am disappointed and disgusted by this image @HumzaYousaf

“Erdogan kills #Kurds in Turkey & does not respect human rights.

“Our politicians & half of the population are imprisoned by him and you shake his hand.

“I did not expect this from a FM that says he respects human rights.”

The picture, originally posted by the First Minister, shows him shaking the hand of the Turkish president as he visits the Cop28 climate conference in Dubai, where he says the pair discussed climate change as well as the war in Gaza and the need for an “immediate and permanent ceasefire”.

Mr Yousaf wrote: “As well as discussing the urgency of global action on tackling the climate crisis, I spoke to @RTErdogan & Lebanon PM @Najib_Mikati about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

“An immediate & permanent ceasefire is needed now.

“Too many innocent children have died, it must stop.”

Responding to the attack from Ms Salih, a spokesman for the First Minister said: “It is important for the First Minister to meet with heads of state, and the First Minister had a meeting with President Erdogan – along with many other world leaders – at Cop28 in Dubai.

“They discussed the need for urgent action on the climate crisis and the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.”