Erdogan watched attack on protesters in D.C.

Public Radio of Armenia
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watched Tuesday as men believed to be members of his security detail attacked protesters in the nation’s capital, US News reports.

Erdogan sat in the back seat of a vehicle near the Turkish ambassador’s residence as his supporters charged into the protest crowd.

He exited the vehicle and looked directly toward the melee feet away.

The revelation of Erdogan’s proximity to the incident came in a video posted to Facebook on Thursday afternoon by Voice of America’s Turkish division.

Before the violent confrontation, Erdogan had earlier on Tuesday met with President Donald Trump at the White House.

A police officer and 11 other people were injured in the confrontation, authorities say, one critically.

The State Department condemned the attack Wednesday, and police in the nation’s capital said they were working to identify the assailants, some of whom were armed.

“We witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protesters,” said Peter Newsham, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department in the nation’s capital.

“That’s not something that we tolerate here in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

Newsham said “there could be a diplomatic immunity issue, but that won’t prevent us from doing what we need to do,” saying officers had identified some assailants.

The protest group included Armenian and Kurdish activists opposed to Erdogan, two of whom were arrested in the immediate aftermath. One was charged with aggravated assault and the other with assaulting an officer.