On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit with President Trump was met with a clash between protesters, supporters, and bodyguards outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. The fighting led to multiple injuries and arrests.
Per the New York Times (and you can watch the violent scuffle below):
A group of demonstrators started to chant anti-Erdogan slogans and held up placards that read “Free Demirtas,” a reference to Selahattin Demirtas, the jailed leader of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or H.D.P.
A separate group waving Turkish flags arrived and started chanting slogans in support of Mr. Erdogan, the VOA reported. The verbal stand off then turned physical.
The fighting spread quickly into a nearby park where police, some swinging batons, attempted to restore order to the scene. It didn’t take long for officials to confirm that it was President Erdogan’s own bodyguards who were involved in suppressing the protestors. A state-owned Turkish news agency also confirmed the Turkish security team’s involvement.
Sen. John McCain took to Twitter to call the Turkish bodyguards’ actions “thuggish.”
A similar skirmish occurred last year in D.C. while Erdogan was giving a speech outside the Brookings Institute. During that fighting, Erdogan’s security team “roughed up protesters outside the building and tried to drag away ‘undesired’ journalists.”