Bodyguards traveling with the Turkish president got in a fight with protesters outside the home of the country’s ambassador to the U.S., injuring nine people.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited this U.S. this week to meet with President Trump. At the conclusion of that meeting, Erdogan headed across D.C. to make a stop at the Turkish ambassador’s residence.
Some two dozen protesters, mostly Armenian and Kurdish ethnic minorities, were already outside the property. Fighting soon broke out, with protesters claiming that it was started by Erdogan’s protection team.
“They just literally broke through the line, crossed the street, and stopped the protesters,” said Aram Suren Hamparian, the president of the Armenian National Committee in America.
“It all took place at once. It was by very capable people. It felt to me, it looked to me, like a highly-orchestrated attack,” he added, noting that Erdogan’s entourage outnumbered the protest group.
One of the injured protesters was taken to the hospital and received 10 to 15 stitches, Hamparian told The Daily Caller, and another was taken in for a CT scan.
But while he said that not all members of the president’s group were violent, the Armenian activist also claimed that Erdogan’s cousin Halil Mutlu, a prominent businessman in Turkey, appeared to be leading inflammatory chants from the sidelines as the fracas unfolded.
This is not the first instance of violent clashes in the U.S. capital between the Turkish government and their detractors. Last March, members of Erdogan’s protection detail assaulted dissidents outside the Brookings Institution, forcing police to intervene.
The relationship between Turkey and Armenians has long been rocky, in large part due to the Turkish regime’s attempts to exterminate them during World War One. Kurds also have reported longstanding persecution by the Turkish government.
- Read more and see the video on The Daily Caller
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