President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security guards attacked a group of people who gathered outside the Turkish embassy residence in the US capital to protest his policies back home.
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.
Nine people were injured with at least one of them in serious condition, according to US media outlets.
In a second video emerged two days after the incident, Erdogan is seen watching the protester group being attacked by his personal detail before ordering one of his guards to go to the fighting scene.
The allegation is up on social media that Erdoğan’s 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.