Video Shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Watching Attack on Washington Protesters

Adjust Comment Print

In all, nine people were hurt.

A State Department official said Thursday that two members of Erdogan's security detail were arrested and released.

Videos of the incident show people fighting in Washington D.C.'s Sheridan Circle.

Witnesses reportedly said that the protesters were demanding that a pro-Kurdish lawmaker, Selahattin Demirtas, be released from prison in Turkey. Police said they were checking reports that some of the attackers worked as bodyguards for the Turkish president.

In a statement, the Turkish Embassy blamed the violence on the demonstrators, saying they were "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President. The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured". A previous video from Voice of America showed police officers struggling to protect protesters and ordering the attackers to stop.

In the footage which emerged yesterday, Mr Erdogan can be seen stepping out of a auto and watching on from a distance as his security personnel allegedly attacked Kurdish and Armenian protesters outside the ambassador of Turkey's residence in the United States capital.

Politicians weighed in as well.

"After all, they violated American laws in the United States of America, so you can not have that happen in the United States of America. There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior", McCain initially tweeted after the incident.

Rep. Ed Royce of California says bodyguards traveling with Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his official state visit to Washington "viciously beat multiple individuals, throwing them to the ground and kicking them in the head".

Driver charged with murder in Times Square crash
The sole casualty of the Times Square crash has been identified as Alyssa Elsman, 18, from MI who was on vacation with her family. Rojas initially tested negative for alcohol, but more detailed testing was being carried out, according to two police officials.

"That's something we will not tolerate here in Washington, D.C.", Newsham said. He said police were examining video to identify those responsible.

Turkey declared a state of emergency following the July coup attempt and arrested more than 47,000 people. Necmi was charged with aggravated assault, while Kheirabaoi was charged with assaulting a police officer.

"The violent response of your security detail to peaceful protesters is wholly unacceptable and, unfortunately, reflective of your government's treatment of the press, ethnic minority groups and political opponents", the letter said.

Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey and the European Union.

He told "Morning Joe" that he believed the Turkish ambassador to the USA should be thrown "the hell out" of the country because of the violence.

Turkey regards the PKK as a terrorist group.

By coddling dictators such as Erdogan and allowing Turkey to export its "democratic" values by silencing its opposition through threats and violence, the US administration displays weakness, encourages further incidents, and puts American citizens at risk.

Human rights groups have applauded the Trump administration for raising the issue.