Did the Turkish President’s Security Detail Attack Protesters in Washington? What the Video Shows

The New York Times reviewed videos and photos to track the actions of 24 men, including armed members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail, who attacked protesters in Washington last week. Many of the protesters were American citizens.

The men kicked people lying on the ground and put a woman in a chokehold just a mile from the White House. They outnumbered the protesters nearly two to one.

The State Department has condemned the episode, and some American lawmakers have called for the men to be prosecuted. But none have been charged with a crime. Here’s what video of the main actors shows about the identities of the men and the roles they played in the clash.

Turkey Summons U.S. Ambassador Over Security During Erdogan Visit

Competing accounts from U.S. and Turkish officials about violent confrontation

 Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest what it called “aggressive and unprofessional actions” by U.S. security toward Turkish bodyguards during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Washington last week.
.. Local police, U.S. lawmakers and demonstrators said members of Mr. Erdogan’s security detail took part in an unprovoked attack on protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington.The U.S. State Department said it summoned the Turkish ambassador last week to express its concern over the incident, which D.C. police, the Secret Service and the State Department are investigating.

The summoning of U.S. Ambassador John Bass on Monday added to Turkey’s challenges of the prevailing narrative in Washington by casting blame on U.S. security personnel for unprofessionalism outside the Turkish Embassy, as well as unspecified “lapses of security” throughout Mr. Erdogan’s visit.

..The ministry also condemned “the inability of U.S. authorities to take sufficient precautions at every stage of the official program.” A spokesman for the ministry declined to further specify Turkey’s complaints, pending the investigation it requested.

.. A narrative of the incident published by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said the fight started after protesters threw water bottles at Turkish citizens.
.. The Turkish government cast the anti-Erdogan demonstrators as sympathizers with the PKK, the Kurdish separatist group classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Turkey.
.. “There is a big difference between freedom of expression and expression of solidarity with terrorism and terrorists,” Amb. Serdar Kilic said at a speech at the Trump Hotel to people gathered for a conference on U.S.-Turkey business relations. “We do not take it as freedom of expression, it’s expression of solidarity with terrorism.”
.. said Americans were “concerned and disturbed” by the violence.
..“It is important to note that, in the United States, such protests are legal, protected and customary,” Mr. Shannon told the same business conference, where he sat next to the Turkish ambassador during the lunch. “In this regard, we found the attack to be deplorable and lacking in the respect for our laws that we expect from visitors.”

In Video, Erdogan Watches as His Guards Clash With Protesters

Nine people were hospitalized after the skirmish, and the State Department issued a stern statement condemning the attack.