On Tuesday, a group of peaceful protesters gathered outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., were viciously attacked by individuals who work for Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The assault was caught on video by multiple outlets. The resulting damage: At least nine people were injured, and two have been arrested by D.C. police.
Showing complete disregard for American laws, Erdogan’s security detail is seen storming through a police barrier to disrupt and attempt to shut down the peaceful protest.
— Amerika’nin Sesi (@VOATurkish) May 17, 2017
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) May 16, 2017
The Guardian reports that witnesses say Erdogan’s security team was responsible for attacking the protesters.
“All of the sudden they just ran towards us,” one Yazidi Kurd peaceful protester told ABC. “Someone was beating me in the head nonstop, and I thought, ‘Okay, I’m on the ground already, what is the purpose to beat me?’”
“We are protesting [Erdogan’s] policies in Turkey, in Syria and in Iraq,” one of the couple dozen protesters told CNN. “They think they can engage in the same sort of suppression of protest and free speech that they engage in in Turkey.”
The behavior of Erdogan’s goons sent shockwaves through the media, as Americans got a small sample of what the Turkish regime does with impunity back home to individuals who oppose the Islamist autocrat.
Earlier on Tuesday, President Donald Trump met with Erdogan at the White House. The two leaders remained cordial, both praising each other’s leadership. President Trump noticeably did not mention Turkey’s widespread internal crackdown on human rights, which has led to the arrest of tens of thousands of journalists, academics, educators, and government and military officials.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017
Singing the praises of the Turkish autocrat, Trump commented: “We’ve had a great relationship and we will make it even better.” He added, “ The relationship that we have together will be unbeatable.”
This isn’t the first time that Erdogan’s bodyguards have acted as if they are back home in their Islamist Republic and completely unaccountable to American laws.
Last year, while Erdogan was giving a speech at the Brookings Institution in D.C., his bodyguards attacked and roughed up several protesters and journalists covering the event.