Intercept -Casting aside his predecessor’s concerns about human rights abuses and the suppression of free speech in another nation, Donald Trump lavished praise on another autocratic foreign leader on Tuesday, calling it “a great honor to welcome the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to the White House.”
Just hours after Trump focused his remarks on “the exemplary valor of the Turkish soldier,” however, Erdogan’s presidential bodyguards were caught on video punching and kicking protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington.
Images recorded by the Turkish-language service of Voice of America, a Congressionally funded broadcaster, showed the Turkish security guards battering about a dozen demonstrators, after scuffles between the protesters and Erdogan supporters.
Some of the Turkish officials were seen kicking prone demonstrators who had already been knocked to the pavement across from the diplomatic compound, where Erdogan had arrived a short time earlier.
One Turkish official was photographed throttling a young woman.
“Yesterday afternoon we witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protesters at the Turkish ambassador’s residence,” Peter Newsham, the chief of Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. “As a result of the assault, 11 people, and one police officer, were injured.”
The police chief said that his officers were scouring through video of the incident and could file charges against those responsible for the attack, but did not yet know if any of the assailants had diplomatic immunity.