President Erdogan’s bodyguards violently attacked demonstrators in Washington DC.
A police officer was damage and eleven individuals had been injured on Tuesday, when males in fits poured out from the Turkish ambassador’s residence within the US capital the place President Erdogan is staying, and began punching and kicking a gaggle of anti-Erdogan protesters who had gathered outdoors.
The metropolis of Washington on Wednesday condemned a “brutal attack on peaceful protesters” after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards clashed with pro-Kurdish demonstrators.
Middle East Eye reviews:
Two individuals had been arrested in the course of the clashes on Tuesday as Erdogan held conferences within the US capital after visiting President Donald Trump.
Witnesses mentioned that members of Erdogan’s safety element pushed previous Washington police outdoors the ambassador’s residence and attacked a gaggle of supporters of a Kurdish group.
Video footage uploaded to social media reveals a gaggle of males in fits punching and kicking the protesters, together with a inclined girl, as police battle to include the conflict.
The clashes continued regardless of police makes an attempt to revive order, with some protestors, together with girls, knocked to the bottom earlier than being kicked and punched.
Other movies confirmed bloodied protesters on the bottom.
Flint Arthur, who took half within the protest, informed broadcaster CNN: “We are protesting [Erdogan’s] policies in Turkey, in Syria and in Iraq.”
He added the president’s bodyguards had been utilizing the “same sort of suppression of protest and free speech they engage in in Turkey”.
“Yesterday afternoon we witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence,” a police spokesman mentioned.
“The actions seen outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC stand in contract to the First Amendment rights and principles we work tirelessly to protect every single day,” a police assertion mentioned.
The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects the suitable of free expression.
The Metropolitan Police Department mentioned it had arrested two individuals for assault and recognized them as US residents, 49-year-old Ayten Necmi of New York and 42-year-old Jalal Kheirabadi of Virginia.
Social media posts by the 2 suspects recommend that Necmi is a supporter of Erdogan who got here to Washington to rejoice his go to whereas Kheirabadi is a supporter of Kurdish causes.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ignored a query about it at a media picture alternative. Later a spokeswoman for the State Department, mentioned: “We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.”
“Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert mentioned.
Yazidi Kurd demonstrator Lucy Usoyan informed broadcasterer ABC: “All of the sudden they just ran towards us, someone was beating me in the head nonstop, and I thought, ‘Okay, I’m on the ground already, what is the purpose to beat me?’”
Usoyan additionally mentioned she was attacked by a pro-Erdogan supporter.
Tensions between Erdogan’s authorities and the Kurdish minority within the nation are excessive.
The conflict got here after Erdogan stood aspect by aspect with Trump on the White House. The US President had promised to strengthen strained ties regardless of Erdogan’s objections to the US arming of Kurdish fighters.
“It is absolutely unacceptable to take the YPG-PYD into consideration as partners in the region, and it’s going against a global agreement we reached,” Erdogan mentioned, in reference to Kurdish People’s’ Protection Units (YPG) working in Syria.
He additionally claimed that the Kurds are utilizing the battle towards the Islamic State group as an excuse for motion towards Turkey. He mentioned: “In the same way, we should never allow those groups who want to change the ethnic or religious structures in the region to use terrorism as a pretext.”
The clashes are usually not the primary incidence of Turkish political violence spilling over into Washington. In March 2016, a deliberate speech by Erdogan descended into violence after protesters clashed with Turkish safety personnel.
At the time, a journalist was bodily faraway from the occasion web site by Turkish safety personnel, one other kicked by a guard, and a 3rd – a lady – thrown to the sidewalk in entrance of a Washington suppose tank the place he was to talk.
The protesters outdoors the occasion, on the Brookings Institute, held a big signal studying: “Erdogan: War Criminal On The Loose,” whereas one other used a megaphone to chant that he was a “baby-killer”.