Supporters, opponents of Turkey’s Erdogan clash in Washington

A group of pro-Erdogan demonstrators shout slogans at a group of anti-Erdogan Kurds in Lafayette Park as Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan met with US President Donald Trump nearby at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
Updated 17 May 2017

Supporters, opponents of Turkey’s Erdogan clash in Washington

WASHINGTON: Two people were arrested during a brawl outside the residence of Turkey’s ambassador to Washington following a White House visit Tuesday by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Local news reports said Erdogan supporters and security guards clashed with Kurdish and Armenian protesters who accuse him of rights abuses, local news reports said.
Erdogan met at the White House with US President Donald Trump for a visit that aimed to improve strained ties.
After Erdogan left the White House, tensions over the Kurdish issue spilled onto the streets of Washington.
The Turkish president stopped by the ambassador’s residence in the upscale Sheridan Circle neighborhood, where protests prompted city officials to shut down nearby streets, snarling traffic.

VIDEO: Erdogan supporters brawl with protesters outside Turkish Embassy in Washington

Police managed to keep the rival groups apart at first, but eventually were outmuscled and outmaneuvered.
Erdogan’s security detail reportedly attacked protesters carrying the flag of the Kurdish PYD party outside the ambassador’s residence.
The government of Turkey believes that the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) in Syria are simply the Syrian arm of the PKK, which has waged a deadly insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.
Videos from Tuesday’s protests in Washington, some of which were posted on the Internet, showed people from both sides shouting and being punched — with each side accusing the other of being the aggressors.
“We weren’t doing anything wrong,” a pro-Erdogan demonstrator, Mustafa Dikilitas, told ABC television. “We just celebrated our president.”
“One of the YPG supporters ran across, picked up a megaphone, and hit a Turkish citizen with it,” said another pro-Erdogan demonstrator, Busra Eren, referring to the Kurdish militia group.
Demonstrators on the other side, meanwhile, blamed Erdogan’s partisans for the violence.
“All of the sudden they just ran toward us,” Yazidi Kurd demonstrator Lucy Usoyan told ABC, adding that she was attacked by one of the pro-Erdogan supporters.
“Someone was beating me in the head nonstop, and I thought, ‘Okay, I’m on the ground already, what is the purpose to beat me?’“
Washington police eventually sent reinforcements and restored order, but emergency services said nine people were taken to the hospital, one of them in critical condition.


Scare in Greece after machine part mistaken for mortar shell

Updated 9 min 5 sec ago

Scare in Greece after machine part mistaken for mortar shell

  • A bomb-disposal team from the Greek army determined it was a rusting machine part used by the power utility
  • Circulation restrictions were already in effect in Athens and across Greece due to the coronavirus crisis

ATHENS, Greece: Roads near Greece’s parliament building in central Athens were cordoned off for several hours Tuesday after a bomb scare turned out to be a false alarm.
Authorities said several streets around central Syntagma Square were been blocked to traffic and pedestrians for several hours after workers doing excavation work for water main maintenance found what was believed to be a decades-old mortar shell.
A bomb-disposal team from the Greek army determined it was a rusting machine part used by the power utility. Police reopened the roads that were blocked for about three hours.
Circulation restrictions were already in effect in Athens and across Greece due to the coronavirus crisis.