Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan isn’t used to allowing dissenting opinions in his home country, so when protesters descended on his speech in Times Square on Thursday, his guards tamped them down brutally.
On Thursday, Erdoğan addressed the Turkish American National Steering Committee at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square and was greeted with a hefty dose of protesters, shouting him down as a terrorist. When he entered the stage, one protester can be heard on a periscope video shouting, “You’re a terrorist! Get out of my country!”
Erdoğan’s guards promptly moved on the protesters causing mayhem, and the scene soon turned into a beat down. The guards didn’t simply escort the protesters out, they made them feel it first.
But this is to be expected out of Erdoğan’s guards in America. Last month, 15 Turkish guards were indicted for beating up protesters outside the Turkish embassy as Erdoğan watched on May 16.
“All of a sudden, they just ran towards us,” said demonstrator Lucy Usoyan, a Yazidi Kurd who claimed that a pro-Erdoğan supporter attacked her.
“Someone was beating me in the head nonstop, and I thought, ‘Okay, I’m on the ground already. What is the purpose to beat me?’” she said.
Trump and Erdoğan met in an effort to repair the relationship between their two countries after the U.S. announced its intention to supply arms to the Kurdish YPG-PYD group to aid in its fight against ISIS. Turkey views the Kurdish group as a terror organization.
“It is absolutely unacceptable to take the YPG-PYD into consideration as partners in the region, and it’s going against a global agreement we reached,” Erdoğan said.
“In the same way, we should never allow those groups who want to change the ethnic or religious structures in the region to use terrorism as a pretext,” he contended, asserting that the Kurds were “using the anti-ISIS fight as cover for separatist nationalism.”
See a video of the brawl below:
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