Turkish President visits US: guards clashed with protesters, assaulted journalist

Published March 31st, 2016 - 07:49 GMT
Anti-Erdogan protesters in Washington, D.C. (AFP/Drew Angerer)
Anti-Erdogan protesters in Washington, D.C. (AFP/Drew Angerer)

AFP reports that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security forces clashed with protesters and journalists before his speech at a US think tank.

Erdogan arrived in Washington D.C. to participate in the nuclear security summit hosted by US President Barack Obama. He was also scheduled to give a speech at the Brookings Institution. The Brookings Institution is a non-profit public policy research and education center that has been active in American politics for 100 years.

Erdogan's security forces attempted to dissipate 40 Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) protesters holding signs and chanting Erdogan baby killer."

According to AFP, the attempt to remove the protesters turned violent.

A reporter with the US National Public Radio (NPR) was kicked by Turkish security. Others report Turkish security forces ripping up signs and being physically rough to the protesters.

Almost two dozen Washington police officers stepped in to break up the fighting.

During Erdogan's speech at the Brookings Institution, security forces also tried to physically remove a US-based Turkish journalist. Brookings staff allowed the reporter to stay.

A counter-protest of pro-Turkish government supporters was also present. 

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