A video has been released of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards beating up protesters in Washington during his state visit.
The controversial premiere met President Trump as tensions in the Middle East flare. Turkey has been a partner in the US-led coalition against Islamic State forces, although the relationship between the two nations is currently strained.
Fighting erupted among protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence, resulting in multiple injuries and two arrests – one for aggravated assault and one for assault on a police officer, a city police spokesman said.
The city fire department reported nine wounded were taken to a local hospital.
Erdogan has instigated a crackdown on journalists and opponents of the state since a failed coup last year.
As USA Today reports, Erdogan’s government has shuttered news outlets, jailed journalists and opposition party members, and purged thousands upon thousands of government employees. The actions intensified a crackdown on free speech and expression that had been underway for quite some time.
In April, a landmark referendum changing the Constitution formalized Erdogan’s consolidation of power, undermining the role of courts and parliament as checks and balances on the president.
— Amerika’nın Sesi (@VOATurkish) May 17, 2017