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

Cheryl Sanders
May 25, 2017

ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkey's leader told Donald Trump that his country will keep on fighting Syrian Kurdish militants even though they are a key US ally against the Islamic State group, Turkey's foreign minister said Thursday, adding that a top USA envoy should be fired for backing the Kurds. "We just celebrated our President".

"Brett McGurk, the USA's special envoy in the fight against Daesh (Islamic State), is definitely and clearly giving support to the PKK and YPG. It would be beneficial for this person to change", he said.

The Washington Post editorial team published a strongly worded rebuke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security forces, who attacked peaceful protestors outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC. "And this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically".

On Wednedsay, McCain condemned the Turkish authorities. "This isn't Turkey; this isn't a third-world country; and this kind of thing can not go un-responded to diplomatically". We do not do this here. There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior.

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

A video shows the Turkish President standing near his vehicle as the fighting ensued, before turning his back and walking into the embassy.

Video and photographs of the incident show men in dark suits and ties, some holding Turkish flags, kicking and hitting protesters.

Yuksel said one demonstrator seen in video of the attack carrying a bullhorn and being repeatedly kicked is in his 60s.

According to the International Crisis Group, at least 2,798 people, including state security personnel and Kurdish militants, have been killed in Turkey.

The United States said it voiced its "strongest possible" concern to Turkey over a street brawl that erupted between protesters and Turkish security personnel during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Washington.

The White House has remained silent on the episode, with White House press secretary Sean Spicer referring reporters to the State Department.

The Turkish Embassy, in a statement Wednesday, described the protest as "unpermitted" and "provocative". Ed Royce, R-Fullerton (Orange County), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Trump administration to investigate whether criminal charges are warranted against any of the bodyguards.

The United States later said it released two members of Erdogan's security detail after briefly detaining them. An embassy statement said the group had "aggressively provoked Turkish-American citizens" who had gathered to greet Erdogan.

The statement said a Turkish-American was "seriously injured" in self-defense.

Two arrests were made and Washington, D.C. police said other suspects were being sought.

He also added that the people responsible for this incident violated the laws of the United States, and the Americans can not tolerate the same.

Trump's approval, before the visit, of plans to arm the YPG as it advances towards Islamic State's Raqqa stronghold had overshadowed talks between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, but Erdogan did not directly criticize the plan at the White House.

Other reports by iNewsToday