Speed Reads


Turkey's Erdogan says Trump apologized to him for protesters that Erdogan's guards attacked in Washington

In May, during a visit to Washington, D.C., Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sat in a car and watched as his security detail violently attacked peaceful protesters in a park across the street from the Turkish ambassador's residence. The U.S. indicted 15 members of Erdogan's security detail over the attack, plus four others, and on Monday, President Trump's administration scrapped a $1.2 million arms deal to Erdogan's security forces in retribution. Also Monday, PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff sat down with Erdogan, who said he was sorry about the misunderstanding, and so was Trump. The interviewed aired on Tuesday night.

"Actually President Trump called me about a week ago about this issue," Erdogan said. "He said that he was sorry and he told me he was going to follow up on this issue when we come to the United States within the framework of an official visit. The protesters were insulting us, and they were screaming and shouting. The police failed to intervene properly." A White House official told Axios that Erdogan's "comments were not true and the president did not apologize."

In the rest of the interview, Woodruff and Erdogan discuss NATO, Russia, and the underlying tension between the U.S. and Turkey over Syrian Kurdish forces, which the U.S. considers valuable allies against the Islamic State and Erdogan repeatedly dismisses as "terrorists." You can watch the entire interview here.