US capital slams "attack" as Erdogan guards clash with protest




Washington (AFP) - The city of Washington on Wednesday condemned a "brutal attack on peaceful protesters" after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bodyguards clashed with pro-Kurdish demonstrators.

Two people were arrested and 11 were injured, including a police officer, amid demonstrations Tuesday as Erdogan held meetings in the US capital after visiting President Donald Trump.

Witnesses told AFP that members of Erdogan's security detail pushed past Washington police outside the ambassador's residence and attacked a group of supporters of a Kurdish group.

Video footage uploaded to social media shows a group of men in suits punching and kicking the protesters, including a prone woman, as police struggle to contain the clash.

"Yesterday afternoon we witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence," a police spokesman said.

"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 statement said.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects the right of free expression.

The Metropolitan Police Department said it had arrested two people for assault and identified 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 two suspects suggest that Necmi is a supporter of Erdogan who came to Washington to celebrate his visit whereas Kheirabadi is a supporter of Kurdish causes.

But the police said they are also working with the US State Department and Secret Service "to identify and hold all suspects" -- suggesting that they are seeking to interview Erdogan's security detail.

The State Department did not immediately respond to an AFP inquiry about the incident and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ignored a question about it at a media photo opportunity.

The incident was very similar to another in Washington last year when Erdogan's guards roughed up Kurdish protesters outside the Brookings Institution think tank just before the president arrived to speak.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Just 14 words at Trump
Just 14 words at Trump's Arizona rally may have caused Ben Carson to violate an ethics law

Just 14 words may have caused Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to violate an...

Police fire pepper spray to disperse protesters outside Trump rally in Phoenix
Police fire pepper spray to disperse protesters outside Trump rally in Phoenix
  • US
  • 2017-08-23 06:05:27Z

Police fired pepper spray to disperse protesters outside a rally by U.S. President Donald Trump in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday after being pelted with rocks and bottles, police said. Police have not given an estimate of the number of protesters, but Arizona media said there were several thousand. "People in the crowd have begun throwing rocks and bottles at police," Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sergeant Jonathan Howard said.

White House renews request for privacy for Trump
White House renews request for privacy for Trump's young son

The White House on Tuesday renewed its request to the news media for privacy for President Donald Trump's young son, Barron, after a conservative news and opinion website criticized the casual attire he ...

Trump backs off Afghan withdrawal, lambasts Pakistan
Trump backs off Afghan withdrawal, lambasts Pakistan

"My instinct was to pull out" Trump admitted as he spoke of frustration with a war that has killed thousands of US troops and cost US taxpayers trillions of dollars. While Trump refused to offer detailed troop numbers, senior White House officials said he had already authorized his defense secretary to deploy up to 3,900 more troops to Afghanistan. A conflict that began in October 2001 as a hunt for the 9/11 attackers has turned into a vexed effort to keep Afghanistan's divided and corruption-hindered democracy alive amid a brutal Taliban insurgency.

Anger over rally violence boils over in Charlottesville
Anger over rally violence boils over in Charlottesville

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Anger boiled over at the first Charlottesville City Council meeting since a white nationalist rally in the city descended into violent chaos, with some residents screaming and cursing at councilors Monday night and calling for their resignations.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.