WASHINGTON — Supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, including his government security forces and several armed individuals, violently charged a group of protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence here on Tuesday night in what the police characterized as “a brutal attack.”

Eleven people were injured, including a police officer, and nine were taken to a hospital, the Metropolitan Police chief, Peter Newsham, said at a news conference on Wednesday. Two Secret Service agents were also assaulted in the melee, according to a federal law enforcement official.

The State Department condemned the attack as an assault on free speech and warned Turkey that the action would not be tolerated. “We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms,” said Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman.

A group of Republican lawmakers went a step further, calling the episode an “affront to the United States” and calling for Turkey to apologize.

Photos and videos posted on social media by witnesses showed a chaotic scene of flying fists, feet and police batons — all in the middle of rush hour traffic along stately Embassy Row. The video showed two men bleeding from the head and men in dark suits punching and kicking protesters, some lying on the ground.


The initial rush devolved into several smaller skirmishes as uniformed police officers, some in helmets and swinging collapsible batons, struggled to restore order. The Anadolu Agency, a state-owned Turkish news service, reported that members of the president’s security team were involved in the attack.

The confrontation came after President Trump welcomed Mr. Erdogan to the White House on Tuesday and praised him as a stalwart ally in the battle against Islamic extremism. Mr. Trump did not speak of Mr. Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown on his own people.

The White House has thus far been silent on the episode. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, referred reporters to the State Department and declined to comment further.

This incident should be denounced from the White House.  The Turkish ambassador was called to the State Department over the incident.  Even though 2 of the Turkish security guards were taken into custody, they were released.  All have returned home to Turkey now.

The fact that Turkish President Erdogan can be seen in video watch the incident signals that this government  runs rough-shod over those with whom it disagrees.

The NYTimes further reported:

The Turkish embassy released a statement late Wednesday that contradicted United States officials and video evidence and blamed the demonstrators, who, it said, had been “aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president.” The president’s supporters and security forces were reacting in self-defense, the statement said.

The altercation, which played out in broad daylight and ricocheted across social media on Tuesday, puts the United States in an uncomfortable position as it must navigate investigating and potentially charging the security personnel and other Erdogan supporters involved in the attack, who could potentially claim diplomatic immunity.

How should the United States handle an incident like the one shown in the video?  Clearly the Turkish security team reacted as thugs behave, kicking and brutalizing innocent civilians who were protesting.  In this country, the right to protest is guaranteed to all, regardless of nationality or citizenship.

D. C. Police seem to be the heroes of the day, doing their best to protect the protesters and to quell the dangerous situation.  At least one officer was hurt.  10 protestors were injured and taken to the hospital.  Incidents like these do not belong in the United States of America.  Hopefully a strong message will be sent to President Erdogan renouncing this type of behavior and repudiating all thuggery.


11 Thoughts to “Turkish president’s security guards go thug on protesters”

  1. Richard Hertz

    Reminds me of leftist Antifa protesters on college campuses these days when a conservative attempts to speak. Unfortunately I think that the same end result will come with both… nobody will be prosecuted for these beatings.

    1. Robin Hood

      Richard Hertz,

      And it looks more like a Trump rally to me. By the way I checked out all your sources when I had more time to read, reflect and research. The result is a further comment on the previous post.

    2. I doubt seriously if anyone will be prosecuted. They left the country. Should the Turks come back, I expect there will be different protocols. At least I would hope there would be stern and serious warnings issued prior to arrival.

      I just think it is horrible that Turkish thugs unleashed their violence on people who were on American soil.

  2. Robin Hood

    I strongly recommend that everyone should read my comment at 5:10pm on the 19th under the post on the 17th. Richard tried to pass off partisan spin as common knowledge. I took the time to check it out. Whatever he alleges needs to be investigated carefully and verified.

  3. Cargosquid

    The cops said that their response had issues since some of the thugs were armed.
    If an American had been armed and was attacking people, the proper response is to hold them at gun point and shoot them if they acted aggressively.
    Put them on the ground, on their faces, and cuff them.

    Shoot if necessary.
    Teach these thugs that this is not allowed in the US.

    Or better yet…at the next protest, the protestors should carry large signs, with heavy wooden dowels as support.

    1. Robin Hood


      Where is the tweet expressing outrage by the president?

      That’s sarcasm, of course. The Turks are Flynn’s friends. You have a valid point.

    2. Stake them thru the heart like vampires?

      I hope we haven’t heard the last of this incident.

  4. Robin Hood

    Twitter has reports that Flynn will plead the fifth amendment and Turkey is protesting the treatment of the bodyguards by DC police. Stay tuned for confirmation. I’m sorry to say that neither of these is much of a surprise.

    1. Turkey is in supreme denial.

      Flynn–lock him up! lock him up!!!

  5. Kelly_3406

    I spent time in Turkey when it was supposedly a US ally. Despite the outwardly positive actions of its government, many Turkish citizens were openly hostile toward westerners. We had to check our cars for bombs and verify that no one was paying too much attention to us when we were out in the streets.

    It seems that the current Turkish government is actually more aligned with the overall anti-western sentiment of its people. Turkey has come full circle since Ataturk instituted republican reforms and banished the caliphate in the 1920s.

    I remember thinking that the NATO-Turkey alliance did not seem destined for long life. Sadly, the emergence of Erdogan and his illiberal officer corps suggests that my initial impression of Turkey may have been correct.

    1. Robin Hood


      Finally, we agree on something!

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