Video Shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Watching Attack on Washington Protesters

Claudine Rigal
Mai 20, 2017

A previous video from Voice of America showed police officers struggling to protect protesters and ordering the attackers to stop.

On Tuesday, a group of about two dozen protesters gathered outside the Turkish embassy to protest the Erdoğan regime, specifically his treatment of Turkey's Kurdish minority.

The Turkish Embassy maintains the bodyguards were acting in self defense and that the protesters were "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president". Uniformed D.C. police officers at various points can be heard telling the men to back off and move across the street.

The State Department issued a relatively strong statement Wednesday saying that it was "concerned by the violent incidents" involving Turkish security personnel and that the United States is "communicating our concern with the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms".

The U.S. State Department said the episode was "deeply disturbing" and promised that an investigation would hold those responsible to account.

Politicians weighed in as well. John McCain commented while retweeting the video.

"Yesterday we witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protests".

An attorney for Ayten Necmi, 49, one of the protesters who was arrested, told The Washington Post that he blamed D.C. police and the Secret Service for "being surprised" by the large turnout and overreacting.

Washington's Metropolitan Police Department said it had arrested two United States residents Ayten Necmi, 49, and Jalal Kheirabadi, 42, over the incident.

"After all, they violated American laws in the United States of America, so you can not have that happen in the United States of America".

McCain's statements are in addition to Kilic being summoned by the US State Department over the incident which left 11 people injured and nine hospitalized, according to police.

The background of the two men arrested wasn't immediately clear. But in the USA, it is a protected right.

Tensions between Washington and Istanbul are running high after the Trump administration announced plans to arm Kurdish Syrian militants fighting the Islamic State group despite intense opposition from Turkey, which considers the Kurds as terrorists.

He visited their territory in northern Syria on Tuesday.

A student waves a Turkish flag with a portrait of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during a march in support of the republic and against terrorism in Ankara on May 18, 2017.

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