U.S. condemns Turkish bodyguards' attack on protesters
- Author: Leroy Wright May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 17:23
They were accompanied, according to one witness, by Erdogan's supporters, who also took part in the attack. Nine people were injured, and two people arrested.
Numerous news reports indicate these individuals were members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail who accompanied him on his official state visit this week.
Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said Wednesday it "appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protesters at the Turkish ambassador's residence". When asked if President Donald Trump had seen footage from the altercation, Spicer referred to the State Department's official comment released Wednesday.
Newsham went on to say that attacks such as these will not be tolerated in a city where people should be allowed to protest peacefully. We do not do this here. "There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior".
The Turkish Embassy in Washington blamed the violence on sympathizers of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a separatist group that Ankara and Washington have labeled as terrorists.
But both leaders also tried to put a fearless face on their differences and to renew a key alliance between Nato's leading power and its biggest Muslim member, partners in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
The demonstrators talked to the media after the clashes and recalled how they were kicked by security personnel.
Because "police did not heed Turkish demands to intervene", Erdogan's security team and Turkish citizens moved in and "dispersed them", the news agency said. "We've had a great relationship and we will make it even better", Trump said, despite Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian leadership and Turkey's stalwart opposition to the United States' decision to arm Syrian Kurds.
Some of the protesters in Tuesday's incident were carrying the flag of the Syrian Kurdish PYD party, a US -backed group considered a terrorist organization by the Turkish government.
At their White House meeting earlier, Trump and Erdogan had nice things to say about each other - even after the USA chose to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria.