Lawmakers demand swift action for Turkish Embassy violence

Claudine Rigal
Mai 19, 2017

Men and women were on the ground trying to shield themselves as men primarily in suits, alleged by some to be Erdogan's bodyguards, beat and kicked the protesters.

The VOA Turkish news service reported that a group of Kurdish protesters clashed with supporters of the Turkish president and that his security guards got involved in the fighting.

Erdogan visited the White House on Tuesday where he pressed President Trump on US support for the Syrian Kurds in the fight against ISIS, saying in his public remarks before their meeting that: "It is absolutely unacceptable to take the YPG-PYD into consideration as partners in the region". Many protesters fled across the park they were assembled in.

The incident occurred after Erdogan arrived after a White House meeting with President Donald Trump.

Washington [U.S.], May 17: Nine protesters were injured outside the residence of the Turkish Ambassador here on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Turkish Embassy blamed the violence on the demonstrators, saying they were "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president".

Later, speaking to reporters at the Turkish embassy, Erdogan underlined Turkey's concerns about the YPG, which Ankara regards as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group fighting a decades-old insurgency in southeast Turkey.

Protester Flint Arthur told CNN, "They think they can engage in the same sort of suppression of protest and free speech that they engage in in Turkey".

Yazidi Kurd demonstrator Lucy Usoyan told broadcasterer ABC: "All of the sudden they just ran towards us, someone was beating me in the head nonstop, and I thought, 'Okay, I'm on the ground already, what is the objective to beat me?'" While Erdogan called for the extradition of a Pennsylvania-based cleric he blames for a failed coup in Turkey last summer, there was little tension.

"It is absolutely unacceptable to take the YPG-PYD into consideration as partners in the region, and it's going against a global agreement we reached", Erdogan said, in reference to Kurdish People's' Protection Units (YPG) operating in Syria.

A similar incident occurred during Erdogan's visit to Washington past year, in which Erdogan guards beat Turkish journalists protesting for their rights.

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