WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser Issued the following statement strongly condemning the violent confrontation outside of the Turkish ambassador’s house on Tuesday, May 16 perpetrated by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security team.
“What we saw yesterday – a violent attack on a peaceful demonstration – is an affront to DC values and our rights as Americans. I strongly condemn these actions and have been briefed by Chief Newsham on our response. The Metropolitan Police Department will continue investigating the incident and will work with federal partners to ensure justice is served.” Mayor Bowser stated.
Erdogan was in Washington on May 16 for talks with President Donald Trump, but his visit was marred by violence between his bodyguards and pro-Kurdish demonstrators.
Witnesses said Turkish bodyguards pushed past a Washington police cordon outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence and attacked the protesters with their fists and feet.
A police spokesman described the assault as a “brutal attack on a peaceful protest” and said investigators were studying video evidence and would seek to identify and question the suspects.
Two suspects — not from Erdogan’s detail — were arrested at the scene and 11 people were hurt.
The State Department has also expressed concern to Turkey in the “strongest possible terms” after the clashes in Washington.
“Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms,” Nauert said.