On a visit to Spain, you might be expecting the Turkish Prime Minister, to meet with his counterpart, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Instead, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a near-miss with a zapato – the Spanish word for shoe. The 27 year old man who threw the footwear was promptly arrested in Sevilla. He is now accused of attempted assault on a head of state.
Earlier in the day, the two premiers did manage to meet in Madrid to discuss Spanish support for Turkey’s bid to join the European Union. While Spain holds the EU’s rotating presidency, Zapatero is promising efforts to speed up Turkey’s entry.
However, Erdogan may have more pressing issues at home. Forty people are being held by Turkish police, who are investigating an alleged plot to undermine the Islamist-rooted government and trigger a military coup in 2003. Among those arrested are the former heads of the air force and navy.
There are also growing fears of a political crisis in the country, following a clash between the government and the judiciary.