Erdogan 'bodyguards' clash with protesters outside Turkish embassy in Washington DC

Two arrested during violent protest against Donald Trump's meeting with Turkish President

170517_turkey Washington
Fighting breaks out during the demonstration in Washington DC
(Image credit: Twitter/Turkish Minute)

Two people were arrested and at least nine were injured after a fight broke out in Washington DC shortly after Donald Trump's meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

According to witnesses, the demonstrators, some carrying the flag of the Kurdish PYD (Democratic Union Party), were attacked by Erdogan's bodyguards outside the Turkish embassy, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Video footage on Facebook shows several people, including men dressed in black suits, trading punches.

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"Some of the men were seen kicking people as they lay on the ground," claims Buzzfeed News.

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Demonstrators Flint Arthur told CNN: "They think they can engage in the same sort of suppression of protest and free speech that they engage in in Turkey.

"They stopped us for a few minutes... but we still stayed and continued to protest Erdogan's tyrannical regime."

He added they had been "protesting [Erdogan's] policies in Turkey, in Syria and in Iraq".

If true, this is not the first time Erdogan’s security forces have roughed up protesters on US soil, says Quartz.

Clashes between demonstrators and the Turkish leader’s guards were reported by the Washington Post last year, while in 2014, Turkish security threatened and pushed journalists working for a newspaper in New York that was perceived to be critical of Erdogan.

Footage of the latest incident provoked outrage online. "Why is Erdogan allowed to bring goons with him into the United States?" tweeted David Frum, senior editor of The Atlantic.

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Blake Hounshell, US editor of Politico magazine, laid the blame for the "insane" incident at the door of President Erdogan.

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After their meeting, Trump and Erdogan told a joint press conference they had committed to strengthening bilateral relations.

"We've had a great relationship and we will make it even better," the US President said. "We look forward to having very strong and solid discussions."

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