President Erdoğan tells BBC’s Zeinab Badawi that Israel is ‘agitating for war’


In advance of his UK visit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan talks to BBC current affairs presenter Zeinab Badawi in the Turkish capital of Ankara. The interview will feature in a special edition of HARDtalk, to be first broadcast at 04.30 UK time on 14 May, and repeated throughout the day.

Among the topics Badawi explores in her interview with the Turkish leader are the forthcoming General and Presidential Elections, called a year and a half early by Mr Erdoğan. Is he trying to pre-empt a possible slide in his popularity, or simply trying to tighten his grip on power? How worried is he about escalating tension in the Middle East following Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal?

In a promo clip shown on BBC News earlier today, President Erdoğan is seen telling Badawi that Israel is behaving aggressively after firing 50 rockets against Iran into Syria. He challenges the Israeli government’s account that this was in retaliation against Iranian rockets fired first at the occupied Golan Heights, claiming there was no such proof, and that Israel was risking a new war and crisis in the Middle East.

Catch the full 30-minute interview at 04.30 UK time on 14 May, repeated at 09.30, 15.30 and 20.30 the same day, and again at 00.30 on 15 May. The programme will be broadcast on the BBC News and World News channels, and is also available on the BBC iPlayer.


Photo © BBC HARDtalk/Twitter of Zeinab Badawi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan