Shortly following a White House visit by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who recently consolidated power for himself in a narrow, contested referendum vote, witnesses say Erdogan’s bodyguards attacked protesters carrying the Kurdish PYD flag outside the Turkish ambassador’s D.C. residence.
The Guardian reports that nine people were injured and two arrested in what police, without elaborating, referred to as an altercation between two groups. In videos, it looks pretty clearly like a bunch of men in suits beating people up. Take a look:
Here’s another video from Facebook, posted by Voice of America:
After last year’s attempted coup in Turkey, 40,000 teachers have been purged from the country’s education system, 130,000 suspected dissidents have been fired from their jobs, universities and hospitals have closed, the judiciary gutted. Tens of thousands have been detained, including many journalists. Erdogan has signaled a strong interest in bringing back the death penalty.
Trump called to congratulate Erdogan on his referendum win last month, and reportedly did not bother him with human rights concerns during yesterday’s meeting.