Turkish president Erdogan 'looked on' as aides beat Kurdish protesters in DC

Erdogan 'looks on' as aides beat Kurdish protesters Erdogan 'looks on' as aides beat Kurdish protesters
01:36

The Donald Trump administration is facing growing calls for a forceful response to violence on American soil, after a new video emerged appearing to show Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looking on as members of his security team attacked protesters in Washington.

The footage, released by Voice of America’s Turkish service, shows the moment before the clashes took place outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence.

A group of pro-Erdogan demonstrators shout slogans at a group of anti-Erdogan Kurds in Lafayette Park as Turkey's Erdogan met with President Trump nearby at the White House in Washington Credit: Reuters

Demonstrators can be heard chanting in the background on the pavilion.

The video then seems to show a member of Mr Erdogan’s security team bend down to speak to the president in the back of a black Mercedes sedan.

The bodyguard then passes a message to another aide who walks toward the group of supporters and out of the range of the camera.

Seconds later, several men in suits run towards the protesters and confront them before throwing several punches.

Around 15 seconds later, Mr Erdogan emerges from the car, looking on at the brawl before heading into the residence. 

Nine people were injured in the incident, some of whom were kicked and stamped while on the ground.

Ceren Borozan, a Kurdish protester who was pictured being held in a chokehold by one of the men in suits, has appealed for the attacker to be identified and prosecuted. 

The US summoned Turkey's ambassador to the State Department, where the No. 2-ranked US diplomat raised concerns about conduct by President Erdogan's security team.

Miss Borazan — who left Turkey for the US in 2013 —said that she and the others were at the protest "to make our voices heard."

"But suddenly Erdogan's bodyguards — I'm pretty sure it was them — attacked all of us," she said.

The Trump administration released two members of Mr Erdogan's detail after detaining them briefly.

They were released under a globally recognised custom under which nations do not arrest members of a visiting president's delegation.

However, US lawmakers demanded stronger action. 

Clashes outside Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington DC leaves at least 9 injured Clashes outside Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington DC leaves at least 9 injured
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"There must be consequences," Rep. Steny Hoyer said. Republican Sen. John McCain said the government should "throw their ambassador the hell out" of the US.

The unseemly incident is adding to US-Turkish tensions that are compounded by a growing spat over US policy in Syria.

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