The 26-year-old New Jersey student, Ceren Borazan said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail squeezed her neck before threating to kill her during a protest outside Turkish embassy residence in DC on Tuesday.
Borazan told BuzzFeed News that one of Erdoğan’s guards threatened her by saying: “I’m going to kill you, you’re dead, you are gone.”
He also called Borazan bitch amid turmoil.
Erdoğan met with US President Donald Trump in a scheduled gathering on Tuesday. During his visit to the Turkish embassy residence in Washington DC after the meeting, his supporters clashed with another group who gathered outside the embassy building in order to protest Erdoğan’s policies in Turkey.
The protesting group held banners that read: “Freedom to Demirtas!” in a reference to Selahattin Demirtas, the leader of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who has been under arrest over terrorism charges since Nov 4, 2016.
Police intervened into the fighting between the two groups while a video recording posted on social media the same day revealed that Erdoğan’s guards in suits were also involved, physically attacking the protesting group.
Borazan, a Turkey-born Kurdish, wrote in a separate statement on her Facebook account: “Today I experienced firsthand the extent and savagery of Turkish fascism: My Kurdish friends and allies were protesting peacefully against Erdoğan being in Washington when we were suddenly attacked by a group of Erdoğan’s official bodyguards and secret police. They attacked women, children and the elderly with reckless abandon. I ran in the opposite direction from our friends and got caught by one of the security guards. He put me in a headlock to the point where he popped a blood vessel in my eye. He held me and threatened to kill me. I was scared for my life and tried to get into the car in front of me. Luckily there was a man in the car who helped me get into the other side of the car.”
At least twelve people were injured during clashes, according to BuzzFeed.
After a video showed that Erdoğan was watching his guards attacking the protestors, the allegation was up on social media on Thursday that his guards beat up protesters with direct order from the President.
The attack drew huge reaction from human rights organisations, US senators, State Department and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. While Arizona Senator John McCain called on the US government to declare Turkish ambassador Serdar Kilic a persona-non-grata while local police said an investigation was launched against the attackers.