The Turkish Embassy in Washington on Thursday released a statement in which it held supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) responsible for a fracas in front of the Turkish ambassador’s residence on Wednesday that resulted in injuries to nine protestors.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with US President Donald Trump in a scheduled gathering on Tuesday. During his visit to the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., after the meeting, Erdoğan’s supporters and security guards clashed with another group who had gathered outside the embassy building to protest Erdoğan’s policies in Turkey.
The protesters held banners that read “Freedom to Demirtaş!” in reference to Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who has been under arrest on terrorism charges since Nov. 4, 2016.
“Groups affiliated with the PKK, which the US and Turkey have designated as a terrorist organization, gathered yesterday [on Wednesday] without permit in Sheridan Circle in the immediate vicinity of the ambassador’s residence, while the President of Turkey was visiting the residence. The demonstrators began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President. The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured. The violence and injuries were the result of this unpermitted, provocative demonstration. We hope that, in the future, appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that similar provocative actions causing harm and violence do not occur,” the Turkish Embassy said in its statement.
Police intervened in the fighting between the two groups, while a video recording posted on social media the same day revealed that Erdoğan’s guards were also involved, physically attacking the protesters.
Nine people were injured, with at least one of them in serious condition, according to US media outlets.