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Sweden prepares for first Turkish state visit

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Sweden prepares for first Turkish state visit
14:02 CET+01:00
Police have warned of potential disruptions during Sweden's first ever official visit by a Turkish head of state as President Abdullah Gül prepares to travel to Stockholm with a 100-strong delegation.

Gül will arrive in Sweden on Monday together with his wife, a number of ministers, business representatives, and cultural figures.

Gül was officially invited by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, who will accompany the president at the opening ceremony of the Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies, reported Turkish Hürriyet Daily News.

During his two-day visit, Gül will also deliver a speech at the Swedish parliament and he will meet with Swedish ministers, including Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

Turkey's entry into the EU and the Syrian crisis are two topics that are expected to be on the agenda during the officials' talks.

Swedish police urged motorists to avoid the Stockholm city centre during the state visit, saying it could lead to congestion as parts of the city will be cordoned off.

Police are also expecting demonstrations to take place in the capital and are deploying a special command force to deal with potential disruptions.

"We have to limit traffic and we have to ensure that they can have their gatherings and meetings in a safe manner," Kjell Lindgren, a Stockholm police spokesman, told news agency TT.

"That means we will have both uniformed and civilian police in place and since they are here around the clock we will also be working around the clock."

The Turkish delegation will have police escorts at around 40 locations in total, including the Royal Palace, Grand Hotel and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet) in Stockholm.

The visit will end with a trip to the Uppsala Castle on Wednesday.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia visited Turkey in 2006, the first Swedish state visit to the country.

Gül was scheduled to visit Sweden in September 2012, but the trip was postponed due to health issues.

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